Sri Lanka captain pleads not guilty to 'sweet in pocket' ball tampering

Sri Lanka will need quick wickets early on Day 2 to put pressure on the hosts

The Sri Lanka cricket team refused to take the field on the third day of the second Test in the West Indies on Saturday after the ball-tampering row.

"The ICC can confirm the match officials in the second test between West Indies and Sri Lanka changed the ball and awarded 5 penalty runs to West Indies", the ICC said in a statement on their Twitter feed.

Match officials changed the ball and awarded West Indies five penalty runs over their concern about the suspected altered condition of the ball, prompting the visitors' refusal to take the field at the start of play at the Daren Sammy Stadium.

Broadcast visuals of the Sri Lanka dressing room showed coach Chandika Hathurusingha, captain Dinesh Chandimal and team manager Asanka Gurusinha in animated discussion with match referee Javagal Srinath.

That decision did not bode well with the Sri Lanka players and management, who protested the decision, and players remained off the field for almost the first hour.

The Sri Lankan cricket board backed its players and came out with a release that read, "The team management has informed us that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrongdoing", the statement said.

The umpires took the call to change the ball on Saturday morning and that angered the Sri Lankan team.

Match officials charged Chandimal after television footage from the final session's play on Friday appeared to show the captain taking candies out from his left pocket and putting these in his mouth, before applying the artificial substance to the ball which the umpires viewed as an attempt to change its condition. Pakistan eventually forfeited that game.

Opening batsman Devon Smith top scored with a painstaking 61 while Shane Dowrich, fresh from a match-winning unbeaten century in the first Test in Trinidad, contributed 55.

This was the second such instance within three months, after the Australians were found guilty of ball-tampering in South Africa in March during the third Test between the two nations. But fast bowler Lahiru Kumara took the most wickets, four.

At the close of play on Day 2, Windies were 118 for 2 in reply to the opposition's first-innings score of 253.

Second time around the tourists lost Kusal Perera for 20 en route to 34 for one - a deficit of 13.

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