Ref Mahanama urges Windies, Australia to calm down

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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St John's (Antigua): After a series of umpiring bloopers marred day four of the second Test between Australia and the West Indies, match referee Roshan Mahanama told captains Ricky Ponting and Ramnaresh Sarwan to calm down their respective teams.

Zimbabwean umpire Russell Tiffin produced three shocking decisions in a short span of five minutes to rattle the West Indian batting line-up. It caused hostilities to bubble as Australia reached 244/6 to forge out a 371-run lead at stumps.

The flashpoint came when Andrew Symonds refused to walk after appearing to glove a ball to the wicketkeeper. Several Windies fielders confronted Symonds and the situation continued to fester, with Mahanama summoning rival captains after the end of the days play to ensure both teams avoided future conflict.

Former Sri Lankan batsman Mahanama did not hit either side with an official warning but spoke to both skippers to try to stamp out any lingering tension between the teams.

''They were told to be cool. The skippers were told that we wanted to finish the Test without having any problems. It was a preventative thing,'' Mahanama said

The situation was sparked when Tiffin's three mistakes ruined the Windies' hopes of a challenging first innings total.

The West Indies were bowled out for 352, losing their last six wickets for 38.

Right-arm pacer Brett Lee took 5-5 with reverse swing in an astonishing 18 balls, but he had Tiffin to thank for his figures.

Three of his victims appeared to be not out, with Dwayne Bravo ruled caught behind after the ball came off his hip and Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy being adjudged lbw after being hit outside the line of the off-stump.

It was reminiscent of some of Steve Bucknor's blunders in Australia last summer, which led to his sacking at the demand of a furious Indian side.


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