Sri Lanka hurtled towards another defeat against India, certain sections of the crowd in Pallekele went out of control as they hurled bottles onto the ground, leading to the stoppage of play for 32 minutes. It was the first such instance in Sri Lanka when the game had been held hostage due to spectator trouble.
The ruckus began after the 44th over when spectators positioned at the grass banks started hurling bottles and later footwear onto the outfield. The players and the umpires waited in the inner circle as the policemen tried to pacify the angered crowd.
Although announcements went out on the PA systems that unruly spectators would be dealt with severely, the behaviour continued, and the players and the umpires eventually walked off shaking hands.
However, the riot task force was roped in and they managed to clear an entire section of the grass bank, which allowed play to resume. A full house had gathered at the Pallekele stadium on Sunday, but close to 40 percent couldn’t witness the ending stage of the third ODI. Needing 8 more runs at that stage, India took seven deliveries to complete the formalities to clinch the series with two more matches to go.
Not wanting to dwell too much on what happened during the ending stages of India’s innings, Man of the Match Jasprit Bumrah, who picked up his maiden five-wicket haul earlier, was happy that the game could resume. Speaking after the match, the India seamer said: “Obviously, it’s unfortunate. We were just happy that the game was carried on and the situation was taken care of. It was good that the authorities took care of everything and the game went on.”