Flag protest fires up Sri Lanka in no-ball row

Shaminda Eranga appeals for the wicket of Alex Hales.At stumps, Sri Lanka were 0-32 in their second innings, needing a further 330 runs on the final day to reach an imposing victory target of 362.But come stumps the talking point wasn’t whether Sri Lanka could prevent England sweeping the series 3-0 but rather a fresh controversy regarding cricket’s strained relationship with technology.Nuwan Pradeep knocked over Alex Hales but was denied the wicket by a no ball call.Source:AFPAfter rain prevented any play before lunch, England resumed on 4-109, a lead of 237 runs.Alex Hales was 41 not out and nightwatchman Steven Finn six not out. Hales had moved on to 45 when the day’s third ball saw him survive a confident lbw appeal from Sri Lanka paceman Shaminda Eranga.Indian umpire S Ravi ruled in Hales’s favour but the Sri Lankans reviewed, only for a marginal ‘umpire’s call’ verdict from the Decision Review System to spare the batsman.Hales had moved on to 58 when Nuwan Pradeep knocked his off-stump with a ball that kept low.But Australian umpire Rod Tucker had already called a no-ball. Replays suggested Pradeep’s front foot may have been behind the crease but fielding teams are unable to challenge a no-ball call by an umpire and Hales survived.In February, a similar incident saw Australia’s Adam Voges make 239 in a Test against New Zealand in Wellington after being reprieved on seven following an incorrectly called no-ball by English umpire Richard Illingworth.

Under current International Cricket Council regulations, the third umpire is powerless to intervene in such situations.Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayake, a former Test opener, and coach Graham Ford approached match referee Andy Pycroft to register their unhappiness.A flag is draped over the Sri Lanka balcony during p…

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