Sri Lanka were extremely fortunate to avoid a whitewash as rain hampered play on the fifth and final day of the third Test, forcing the match to end as a draw as the Islanders failed to reach their victory target of 362, with England 2-0 up in the three-match series.
In the time that rain allowed the match to resume, Sri Lanka lost Kaushal Silva in the 16th over as James Anderson caught him leg-before-wicket before rain stopped play for the second time.
Rain headlined the final day but a Sri Lanka protest at a wrongly called no-ball from the previous day was the main highlight.
Flag protest fires up Sri Lanka in Lord's no-ball row
England opener Alex Hales who eventually made 94, was on 58 as he was bowled by Sri Lanka paceman Nuwan Pradeep.
But Australian umpire Rod Tucker had already called a no-ball.
Replays indicated part of Pradeep’s front foot had landed just behind the crease but fielding teams are unable to challenge a no-ball call by an umpire and Hales survived.
Under International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations, incorrect no-ball calls cannot be revoked but umpires can check for a no-ball retrospectively following the fall of a wicket.
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The Sri Lanka flag was draped over the tourists’ dressing-room balcony for some 45 minutes in protest at Tucker’s decision.
Flags traditionally fly above both dressing rooms at Lord’s, and the flag on the balcony was eventually removed at the request of Marylebone Cricket Club, the owners of Lord’s.
“You feel a little down, it is sad,” Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilinga Sumathipala told reporters. “The management on tour is very sad about that decision. It will be reported to the ICC.”
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Several close Decision Review System calls went against Sri Lanka on Sunday and the visitors were not too pleased about it.
“If the decisions are continually happening against you many times then they [the players] will get demoralised,” said Sumathipala. “If they feel it’s only happening to us, that’s sad.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2016.
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