Run out causes rift between teams

The controversial run-out of Muttiah Muralitharan is over-shadowing New Zealand’s five wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first Test.

Muralitharan was dismissed after leaving his crease to congratulate team-mate Kumar Sangakkara on his century when Chris Martin threw the ball back to Brendon McCullum who took the bails off.

Although Muralitharan was out according to the laws of the game, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene told the NZ Herald that “I am disappointed. The whole team is disappointed. “Legally, he was run out, the ball was alive. But we play in an age where there’s sportsmanship, there’s spirit of the game. But it wasn’t shown so I am disappointed in that.”

“Clearly Murali went across to congratulate his partner, who made a brilliant hundred in tough conditions. We play in that kind of spirit,” Jayawardene added.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming strongly defended McCullum’s actions saying “We didn’t even contemplate the spirit of cricket side of things. It was an opportunity to take a wicket and we took it.”

McCullum backed his decision to dismiss Murali saying “after 109 test matches, Muralitharan should know better than to walk out of your ground to celebrate a guy’s 100 when the ball’s still alive That’s the way I viewed it and no doubt I’d do the same thing again.”

The second Test starts this coming Friday at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

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