Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade called New Zealand allrounder Grant Elliott a “f***ing coward” on Monday night as cricket’s friendly rivalry grew hostile.

Mitch Marsh’s contentious dismissal on 41 proved to be the turning point of the match as New Zealand ran over the Australian tail order to clinch the match by 55 runs and hence the ODI series 2-1 at Hamilton on Monday. 

The match, which was Brendon McCullum’s final match for the Kiwis in what has been a glorious career, turned fiery when Grant Eliott appeared to sledge Mitch Marsh after his dismissal.

It was Matthew Wade’s verbal run-in with Elliott which proved to be the most heated moment in the match. The Australia keeper took exception when Elliott had something to say to Mitch Marsh as the allrounder was marching off Seddon Park. 

“Only a f***ing coward sledges people when they walk off,” Wade lashed out at Elliott, and the stump microphones picked up the comment.

Elliott responded “Wadey, love your work buddy” before umpire Ian Gould calmed the situation.

Grant Elliott was one of the NZ batsmen who received a verbal standoff after his dismissal in the final of the World Cup in Melbourne last year against Australia.