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Fiery third cricket Test 'good sport'

By Greg Buckle 05/01/2006 08:15:09 PM Comments (0)

Cricket Australia described the fiery third Test against South Africa as good sport despite the fact two Australian players have been reprimanded for bad behaviour.

Australia leads the three-Test series 1-0 but is in a tough position going into day five of the third Test at the SCG on Friday.

South Africa leads by 186 runs after a fiery day four in which rain interruptions meant only 20.3 overs of play were possible.

South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock says the tourists will go all-out for victory despite the risk of a possible 2-0 series loss.

Australia is also facing a battle to control the behaviour of its players, with Glenn McGrath joining Brett Lee on the list of Australian bad boys.

ICC match referee Chris Broad handed down an official reprimand for McGrath for dissent after the lanky paceman faced a disciplinary hearing.

The charge against McGrath was: "Using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or the making of an obscene gesture."

The incident happened after the 13th over of the innings, during which McGrath had Herschelle Gibbs dropped at first slip then conceded two boundaries to the right-hander.

McGrath breached Level 1.4 of the ICC Code which relates to "using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or the making of an obscene gesture", an ICC statement said.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the series had been fiercely contested.

"Let's face it, we've been looking for that in Australia for a number of years," Sutherland said.

"So I don't think we should be too disappointed with people going very hard at each other on the field.

"We want our players to play ... hard and fair."

Sutherland said it was disappointing when a player was found guilty of an offence and that Lee and McGrath would also be disappointed.

"Our players have made a pledge that they want to commit to a certain code of behaviour," he said.

"I'm comfortable with the approach they're taking. There's no doubt there's a lot of heat in this series ... and I think it's been good sport."

Lee was reported on day two of the third Test for showing dissent on day one after an lbw appeal against Jacques Kallis was turned down by Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar.

The fiery quick pursued Dar at the end of the over demanding to know why it wasn't given out. Lee faced a hearing with Broad, who handed down a reprimand.

A crowd of 16,766 fans saw little action but the good news for them is Cricket Australia has a ticket refund policy if less than 25 overs are bowled in a day.

"It's certainly disappointing ... there were periods of time right at the start of the day when the ground seemed close to being ready for play," Sutherland said.

"We'll certainly seek an explanation for that."

Resuming on 1-4, South Africa added only two runs before losing Graeme Smith lbw to McGrath although the ball appeared to be going over the stumps.

Gibbs top-scored for South Africa, making 67 in his side's second innings of 3-94 before he was run out shortly before tea.

The players did not return after the tea break because of further showers.

Pollock said South Africa would chase quick runs on Friday morning before a declaration.

"To protect a defeat and still go down one-nil in the series is pointless," he said.

"We've got to come out tomorrow and give ourselves a chance to win the game."

South African coach Mickey Arthur also faced an ICC disciplinary hearing on a charge of public criticism of a match official after telling a press conference he was disappointed with three lbw decisions that went against his side.

A CA spokesman said the result of the Arthur hearing would be released on Friday.

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