Watch: When a ‘deliberate’ no-ball from Sri Lanka spinner Suraj Randiv ensured that India opener Virender Sehwag missed out on a hundred.

The incident took place during the third ODI of the Sri Lanka tri-series (also featuring New Zealand) clash between India and Sri Lanka at Dambulla in 2010. The India spinners had bowled out Sri Lanka for 170, and India closed in on the target after Sehwag’s one-man blitzkrieg. At the beginning of the 35th over, India needed five runs to win, and Sehwag needed merely one run to complete his century.

Randiv’s first ball kept very low, beating both the batter and keeper Kumar Sangakkara. The result was four byes. Sehwag failed to put away the next two deliveries, but went down the track off the fourth ball. He hit it for a six, raising his arms in celebration for what would have been his hundred and the winning run.

Unbeknownst to the opener, the umpire had already signalled a front-foot no-ball, accounting for the winning run and leaving Sehwag stranded on 99.

There was widespread speculation that this was deliberate, with reports floating around, including one that said Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara could be allegedly heard on the stump mic saying in Sinhalese “If he hits the ball, he gets the run”: which could easily have been an innocuous statement in itself.

What made matters worse was that the no-ball was quite big.

In the post-match conference, Kumar Sangakkara stated: “If it is deliberate and I don’t think he is that sort of player. But if it is deliberate of course I need to have a chat with him, and make sure that things like that don’t happen again. I also need to see whether there was any talk on the field prior to that delivery.”

He did say that his feeling was that the no-ball was deliberate: “But knowing Suraj, he is a really nice guy, I have no doubt that it was not intentional… I don’t think it is deliberate at all.”

Initially, Sehwag said, “I think bowlers try to bowl a wide or no-ball when a batsman is on 99, and scores get level in cricket. It happens in cricket because no one wants a batsman to score a hundred against them. So it’s fair enough.”

But later on, he targetted Randiv and the Sri Lanka team in the post-match conference.

“He didn’t bowl a single no-ball in the Test series or the One-day series so far, so why now on 99? Also, it was not a small no-ball, no margin at all.” He continued, “I’m not the captain or player of the opposition team, that I can tell if someone told Randiv to bowl the no-ball or not. But something must’ve been said. They did the same against Sachin Tendulkar in Cuttack.”

Soon after, both Randiv and the SLC apologised to Sehwag for the incident.

In the aftermath, Randiv was handed a one-match ban, while Tillakaratne Dilshan was also fined for encouraging the youngster to bowl a no-ball. Sangakkara was advised by the board to ensure such incidents were not repeated in future.

Watch the no-ball here: