Veteran Shane Warne squared up to West Indies import Marlon Samuels last night as the Twenty20 Big Bash clash between Melbourne sides the Renegades and Stars threatened to boil over.
Samuels reacted to a shy at the stumps by Warne, and the batsman pushed the finger-waving Warne away as the top side romped to a nine-wicket win before a record crowd of 46,000 at the MCG on Sunday night.
Warne later dismissed it as ''a heat of the moment thing'', and denied he'd deliberately thrown the ball at Samuels.
The Melbourne derby was overshadowed by a series of ill-tempered eruptions revolving around Samuels, the West Indies all-rounder who has been a lightning rod for controversy throughout his stint with the Renegades.
The feud appeared to be sparked during the Stars' innings when Samuels, while bowling, impeded of David Hussey by grabbing his shirt as the batsman turned for a second run.
Samuels made light of the contact but Hussey was not amused, and pointed his bat at the Jamaican as the umpire intervened.
Then in the ninth over, the miked-up spinner marched up to Samuels, wagged his finger in his face, and said, ''F--- you, Marlon.'' During the next over, after an underarm throw from Warne struck Samuels on the body, the West Indies star threw his bat in the Australian's direction.
Again, the umpires intervened but Warne was furious, and continued to vent his anger at the square leg umpire.
Samuels' innings came to a painful end when he top-edged a fast ball from Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga through the grill of his helmet, drawing blood, and he retired hurt on 17.