Misery for Muralitharan

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The off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was no-balled for throwing as the West Indies cruised to 104 for 3 in reply to Sri Lanka's 102 with almost 24 overs to spare to win by seven wickets in their World Series match in Brisbane yesterday.

Muralitharan was introduced in the 19th over of the first limited overs international to be played under lights at the ground. His fourth ball was no-balled by Emerson, who repeated his call twice more during the over. The 23-year-old bowler appeared in despair after Emerson called him four more times, twice in each of his subsequent overs. Television replays suggested Muralitharan bowled leg-spinners on several occasions when he was no-balled.

The bowler was also called last month during the second Test against Australia. "As Muralitharan has been no-balled by two different umpires, the touring management in consultation with the Sri Lanka Board will decide on an appropriate course of action," Duleep Mendis, the team manager, said.

Emerson was booed by some of the 14,000-strong crowd each time he called Muralitharan. Both umpires, flanked by security guards, were jeered off the ground at the end of the match.

The West Indies cricket captain, Richie Richardson, defended Muralitharan. "We had the match almost won so we were relaxed, I just felt really sorry for him."

WORLD SERIES (Brisbane): Sri Lanka 102 (H P Tillekeratne 37no; C E L Ambrose 3-20); West Indies 104 for 3. West Indies win by seven wickets.