The sledge that started a verbal transtasman war was a simple reminder of the rules of cricket.

As Mitchell Marsh walked off after being given out in controversial circumstances he yelled, "That's f***ing bullshit."

Grant Elliott, the New Zealand allrounder who had been taunted during his fighting 50 by the Australians, replied: "So we're not playing caught and bowleds in this game then?"

That jibe got under the skin of out-of-form wicketkeeper Matthew Wade who called Elliott a "f***ing coward".


The incident occurred during a dramatic period in Monday's third one-day international in Hamilton, which saw Aussie all-rounder Mitchell Marsh controversially given out after a half-hearted appeal from the Black Caps.

Marsh was fuming as he walked off the field and his batting partner Matthew Wade was clearly not happy either.

In the following over, Wade and Grant Elliott engaged in a fierce sledging battle while the Aussie gloveman was at the non-striker's end.

Wade was clearly heard on the stump microphone saying, "only a f---ing coward sledges people when they walk off".

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Wade's pointed sledge is interesting given it was Elliott who was on the receiving end of some less than kind words during last year's World Cup final at the MCG. Elliott told Wade "love your work" before umpire Ian Gould attempted to intervene.

Australia's wicketkeeper in that game, the now-retired Brad Haddin, appeared to have some parting advice for Elliott after he was dismissed by James Faulkner.

The pair had earlier been seen sledging each other during Elliott's innings of
The Aussies received some criticism for their aggression during the World Cup victory, a charge to which Haddin responded in an infamous early morning interview the next day where he said he was made to feel "uncomfortable" by how nice the Kiwi players were in their clash in Auckland during the group stage.

- additional reporting