Australia v Pakistan, 3rd Q-F, Adelaide March 21, 2015

Wahab and Watson sanctioned by ICC

Wahab Riaz was fined 50% and Shane Watson 15% of their match fees © Getty Images

Wahab Riaz and Shane Watson have both been sanctioned by the ICC for their part in a fiery and memorable confrontation in the quarter-final between Australia and Pakistan at Adelaide Oval.

Wahab was fined 50% of his match fee for his demonstrative behaviour towards Watson, including an extended follow through that often took him eyeball to eyeball with the Australia allrounder, clapping provocatively in his face and acting in a generally aggressive manner.

Watson was reprimanded 15% for goading Wahab in the first instance, and then retaliating with verbals during the latter stages of his innings, which grew from the shakiest of beginnings to help guide Australia into the semi-finals and a meeting with India in Sydney.

Both players accepted their sanctions without the need for a full hearing, though neither man is likely to regret a passage of play that will be talked about for years to come.

The two men shared a hand shake and warm words at the end of the match, and Wahab told ESPNcricinfo that he harboured no ill feeling towards Watson nor Mitchell Starc, who spoke the first words in a series of exchanges that began when Wahab was batting.

Australia were understood to be somewhat disgruntled at the charge against Watson but thought it less of a distraction if it was accepted. The umpires are believed to have indicated they did not hear exactly what Watson said to Wahab, only that it was inflammatory.

Wahab has stated Watson said "you don't have a bat in your hand", prompting him to respond in kind when bowling.

"It was a game, it was fun, it was an exchange of words," Wahab said on Saturday. "In the end hats off to him, he played well.

"You have seen me shaking hands and congratulating Shane Watson as well, so it was just a part of the game and when the game is finished you are friends outside.

"We have to accept we lost and they won, so we have to congratulate them. At the end I said to him well played, that's it."

The ICC chief executive David Richardson and head of operations Geoff Allardice had both flagged a toughening of behavioural obligations for players ahead of the Cup, which has seen few such instances of open hostility.

However there is some frustration among competing teams about how the interpretation of the rules appears to change at higher profile ICC events as opposed to the usual rounds of bilateral series.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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