Australia v Sri Lanka, VB Series, 2nd final, SCG February 13, 2006

Ponting gets apology for disputed catch

Cricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting waits for Peter Parker's decision on 57 © Getty Images
Mahela Jayawardene has apologised to Ricky Ponting for claiming he caught the batsman's cut shot during last night's second final at Sydney. Jayawardene was convinced he had taken the low-down chance, but Ponting, who has been trying to forge a code of fielding honesty in controversial decisions, stood his ground despite the disbelief of the Sri Lankans, and was given not out by the umpire Peter Parker.

"Their fielders in the close proximity both thought that it did carry, but I got an apology from Mahela out on the ground," Ponting, who was 57 at the time, said in The Australian. "He came up to me a few overs later, a message must have come from inside [the dressing-room] after watching the replay and he apologised and said: 'I'm really sorry, I didn't know that it bounced short of me.'"

Ponting accepted the apology and went on to make 124 in an Australian-record partnership of 237 with Andrew Symonds. At last year's ICC captains' conference Ponting pushed for an honour system where batsmen would take the word of fielders in close catches if it was agreed on by the captains before the series. The leaders said no and Ponting last night benefited as his side pushed the contest to a third final at Brisbane on Tuesday.

"If you saw my face, I looked at the fielder and then turned straight to the bowler and said 'I'm 100% sure that didn't carry'," Ponting said. "Otherwise I would have been off straight away."

Tom Moody, the Sri Lanka coach, said it was obvious after watching the incident on television that it was not a catch. "It was quite clear on the replay that it hit half ground, half finger," Moody said.

Symonds was also involved in an incident at the end of his 151 when he used his bat to push away a spectator who looked like he was going to hug the batsmen. "I was just exhausted," Symonds said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "I had my head down. As I looked up, the bloke had his arms in the air and I thought he was going to hug me.

"I just would have collapsed because I had nothing left. I just put my bat in his chest so he couldn't jump on me." Symonds was named Man of the Match as Australia sealed the game by 167 runs.