South Africa v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval June 3, 2017

Upul Tharanga suspended for two matches after four-hour innings

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 03:56
Fleming: 12 overs an hour is unacceptable

Sri Lanka's stand-in captain Upul Tharanga has been suspended for his team's next two matches in the Champions Trophy because of a "serious" over-rate offence in their first group B match against South Africa at The Oval.

Sri Lanka took more than four hours to bowl 50 overs, and match referee David Boon ruled they were short of the target by four overs, even after making time allowances. Tharanga had been filling in as captain for Angelo Mathews, who did not make it through a fitness test on the morning of the match, and received two suspension points for the slow over rate.

"Tharanga pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing," the ICC said. "As two suspension points equate to a ban from one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whatever comes first for the player, Tharanga has been suspended from his side's upcoming matches against India and Pakistan, while each of his players have received a fine of 60 per cent."

Tharanga admitted he had been warned on-field that Sri Lanka were falling well behind the over-rate. "I think we were too slow to change over between overs. The umpires had told us that we were lagging, after 10 overs that we were two overs behind. In the last few overs it's hard to catch up, because you need some time at the death. "

He was Sri Lanka's top scorer against South Africa, making 57 off 69 balls as they fell short by 96 runs in the chase of 300. His suspension now makes it even more imperative that Mathews is fit to face India at The Oval on June 8 as Sri Lanka aim to keep their tournament alive.

Speaking before the sanction against Tharanga was confirmed, Dinesh Chandimal, who would be the likely captain if Mathews wasn't fit, said he had been close to make the opening match.

"He just missed this game, but the thing is you can't risk playing the first game and making it worst," he said. "He's got four or five days before the next game to get ready."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on June 8, 2017, 20:33 GMT

    @cricfan39752854: Yeah it was a superb win thanks to all front order batters who did their part clicking well as a unit after a long while to chase it down... without turtle pace Chandi to block the progress. But don't forget SL were lucky enough to win the vital toss on a batting DECK rated as LEAST DIFFICULT so far in the CT tournament (the deck was rated less than 3 in the difficulty level scale of 10). Yeas Mathews the batter did well (when the stage was set by DG/KM) with the help of Asela & KJP thriving on that long 2nd wkt stand. BUt same cannot be said for Mathews the skipper who did vital mistakes in the middle Eg; limiting the most economical wkt taking bowler Asela to just 3 overs despite taking a wkt at the cost of just 7 runs.

    Previous Vs SA played on totally different deck that assisted seamers & spinners. Yet don't forget 2/3 of the match was won by UT limiting SA-299 as skipper & Opener putting up (94/1 in 11 ovs @ near 9 runs per ov) until 4 guys fell for 21 runs

  •   cricfan39752854 on June 8, 2017, 17:33 GMT

    Best thing happned to SL team is ban of Tharanga and injury of Kapugedara. UT fans? and Mathew haters, see how a captain wins a match for a team.

  • Deep on June 6, 2017, 17:27 GMT

    @CHRIS_P, we will see what will happen to Williamson after the NZ vs ENG match. NZ was 6 over short. Leniency on when the term can be served. Over a few match period not to be cruel and take away senior player from the team like he has committed some high crime like cheating or fighting. SL captain was trying to give the watches the best game by placing fielders properly and making sure they were competitive against a side like SA.

  • Andrew on June 6, 2017, 5:50 GMT

    This is what Tharanga had to say: "We were too slow even when we were moving. Between the ovrs also I felt that we were not moving fast enough. The umpires warned me in the 40th ovr that we were 3 ovs behind," UT explained. "In the 1st 10 ovs we were 2 ov short. We took too long no doubt. We need time when it comes to the last 10 ovrs but we failed to do any catch up having been too slow earlier on," UT had said.

    Obviously some lazy guys took it leisurely & didn't respond to the urgency by trying to speed-up things despite cold conditions prevailed. SLC should find out the culprits from match replay, since it is a real shame for cricketers at international level. Certainly those guys should be given a thorough warning & a training on how to change ends swiftly after each over !

    Anyhow, the penalty (monetary plus match suspension) imposed on a stand-in skipper in a brief global tournament with just 3 preliminary round matches is extremely harsh.

  • Peter on June 6, 2017, 5:05 GMT

    @DEEPFREEZED. Do you mind sharing with us what leniency? Ihave seen both SAF & Australia, probably others as well, rush through overs in order to get to the allotted overs, in some cases giving up runs. SL had plenty of opportunities with advice given to them, after 10 overs they were already 2 behind! And they got worse and you blame the authorities? It is, believe it or not, the same rules for every team.

  • Andrew on June 5, 2017, 15:45 GMT

    SL ran short of just 97 runs to beat SA. If the failed 4 batters (Chandi-12, Mendis-11, Kapu-0, Asela-4) instead OR if the middle order 4 batters had contribute at least 1x 50+ & 3 x20s the match would have won by SL & probably UT could have extended his 57 to another 100+ as he was well set to do that at that point & unfortunately fell trying to bring the lagging run rate up single-handedly with no contribution from other end to execute the original game plan handling Tahir with caution & yielding runs from other bowlers.

    What a waste...? Poor Tharanga had to face the severe punishment (60% of his fees & 2 match opportunity to make another ton), simply after trying to give SL the best possible chance make an real impact in this ICC-CT. But now, most likely SL may loose the other 2 games (even to Pk)... (:

  • Deep on June 5, 2017, 13:37 GMT

    Do you expect anything else for Mr.Boon? I don't... It's SL fault for getting in this situation when knowing fully well they will not get an leniency because SL is not a team that matters in the larger context of the game. ICC rather have Afghanistan in their instead of SL .

  • samy on June 5, 2017, 11:48 GMT

    There are so many basic things wrong with SLC at the moment. Reg last match :1. How could you play 3 bowlers with Prasanna & Gune to bowl 50 overs? SA could have scored 400! 2. How could you take 4 hours to bowl 50 overs. Even when they were warned , there were no urgency at..? What happens if Mathews cant play next match now? who'd play? Thilanga S? 3. How pathetic Kapugedara to get LBW on first bowl. Anyone who watch cricket could understand when AB had a slip on for the first ball to bluff Kapugedara & to bowl a googly. There was no one to advice him at least? Why do I feel like general public like us, understand the game than current SLC. Please get Mahela as head coach , Sanga as Specialist consultant & Murali as spin bowling coach .

  • ariara8926439 on June 5, 2017, 10:16 GMT

    If Mathews is fit for the second match against India, the playing XI should be 1. Niroshan Dickwella 2.Kusal Perera 3. Kusal Mendis 4. Dinesh Chandimal 5.Angelo Mathews 6. Chamara Kapugedera 7. Asela Gunaratne 8. Suranga Lakmal 9. Nuwan Pradeep 10. Lasith Malinga 11.Lakshan Sandakan.

  • afta330218643 on June 5, 2017, 8:26 GMT

    We have a weak bowling side but our batting should compensate for it. very poor selection of batting order, need to keep the momentum going, 1,Tharanga 2.Stockwell 3.Kusal Perara 4..Mathews 5. Kapugedara 6. Kusal Mendis 6. Chandimal 7. Prasanna and the rest. Our batting always break down in the middle. and the momentum is lost.

  • No featured comments at the moment.