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30-Jun-2010 15:54:00 GMT
South Africa in West Indies, 2010

Gayle and Steyn Play Down Test Spats

Bridgetown: South Africa's man-of-the-series Dale Steyn and West Indies skipper Chris Gayle played down ugly scenes that marred the tourists' series-clinching third and final Test win.

South Africa completed a seven-wicket win in the Test on Tuesday in Barbados to wrap up the series 2-0. But the tense and highly competitive contest spilled over into two temperamental incidents on the pitch, one of which directly involved fast bowler Steyn, awarded the player of the series accolade for his 15 wickets at 18.13 apiece.

Steyn appeared to spit in the direction of Sulieman Benn on his way back to the pavilion after he was dismissed, bowled by Kemar Roach, in the Proteas' first innings on Monday, and the West Indies left-arm spin bowler appeared to chirp a few comments in his direction.

This incident is likely to gain him censure from ICC match referee Jeff Crowe, who will also be closely looking into another incident, a flare-up between South African batsman Jacques Kallis and Roach.

They got embroiled in a verbal spat after Roach struck Kallis on the helmet with a vicious bouncer. The stand-off escalated and required the intervention of umpires and several West Indies players before it cooled down.

"Everybody seemed to swell up in the heat of the moment," said Steyn. "We have been away from home for a long time, five months, and this was the last game.

West Indies knew that they needed to win the game to level the series, and we knew we needed to win this game to win the series, so things are going to happen. That's just part of the game.

West Indies captain Chris Gayle also took time to dismiss the flare-ups between the players on both sides. "If anything needs to be dealt with I am sure the match referee and the on-field umpires will actually take that into play," he said.

The spirit and sportsmanship was good leading up to this match. It's just unfortunate in the end, where we had a bit of a boil up. "It is cricket and you have to be hostile sometimes. If you can give it out, then you should take it. That's how I look at it.

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