HOBART, Australia - Umpire Rudi Koertzen admitted he was wrong to give Sri Lankan vice captain Kumar Sangakkara out eight runs short of a double hundred against Australia yesterday.
Sangakkara was on 192 and leading Sri Lanka's run chase in the second Test when Koertzen ruled that he'd edged a Stuart Clark delivery onto his helmet before it rebounded to Ricky Ponting at second slip.
That ended a promising 74-run stand with Lasith Malinga just before lunch on the last day and ultimately was the final blow to Sri Lanka's bid to chase down 507 to win and level the series.
TV replays showed the ball crashing into Sangakkara's shoulder, not the bat, before it ricocheted to Ponting.
Ponting defended Australia's appeal for the catch by saying his players heard two noises and assumed the ball had caught an edge or the glove and the helmet.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene confirmed that Koertzen, a South African, approached Sangakkara after the match and apologised.
"Rudi came and said sorry to him," Jayawardene said. "Kumar being Kumar was fine with it.
"He was very disappointed at the particular moment but when you sit back after half an hour, you know it's a mistake made by a human and that's it."
Sangakkara's 192 was the highest score by a Sri Lankan against Australia and it was his fifth century in his last eight Test innings.
"Kumar's innings was fantastic, one of the best I've seen," Jayawardene said. "He batted to the plan we had for him after he got his hundred yesterday, to bat through the day today while the other guys rotate around him so that we can challenge the 500-run total.
"Unfortunately the other guys couldn't do it."
Jayawardene said he was disappointed in the way Sangakkara was given out, but said it was just part of cricket.
"He was very upset about it, but that's how the game goes I guess," he said. "In the spur of the moment it's very disappointing, but we just have to move on."
Sangakkara missed the first Test with a hamstring strain and Australia won by an innings and 96 runs. He batted at No 3 in Hobart and scored 57 and 192 to prop up an otherwise below-par batting lineup. - Sapa-AP