England skipper Michael Vaughan said the fiery one-day washout against Australia at Edgbaston was a taste of things to come in the Ashes series.
Australia's Matthew Hayden was involved in an altercation with Simon Jones after the paceman hit him with a shy at the stumps on his follow-through.
"We both play it pretty tough so I won't say it will be the last time we have a few words," said Vaughan.
"We try to play in the right spirit but things will get heated at times."
After Hayden played a defensive shot, Jones picked up the ball and hurled it at the stumps but the ball hit Hayden on the shoulder.
Although Jones apologised, Hayden answered back and then brushed shoulders with Paul Collingwood as the players converged on the pitch.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting attempted to cool things from the non-striker's end and umpires David Shepherd and Billy Bowden spoke to Vaughan and Jones.
Ponting tried to play down the flashpoint ahead of Saturday's triangular tournament final between the sides at Lord's.
"It was just something that happened in the heat of battle," Ponting insisted after the final NatWest Series group game was abandoned just six overs into England's pursuit of 262.
"I don't think there was any malice or that he meant to hit Matty.
"But when the ball did strike him I think you expect a bit of retaliation. He had a few words and it was over with very quickly."
Tensions were also high when Kevin Pietersen claimed a catch at third man from Damien Martyn's uppercut.
Martyn lingered at the wicket before his eventual exit left Australia 123-4.
"It appeared to be a clean catch on the replay screen so I was pretty happy with that," said Ponting.
"In Damien's defence I think what he was trying to do was get it from Kevin as to whether he thought he caught the ball."
Meanwhile, Australia have denied rumours that Hayden swore at a child as he ran on to the field.
Schoolchildren waved flags as Australia's openers made their way to the crease.
"Some of them don't like running into things on the field such as flags," said Australia's media manager Belinda Dennett.
"But Matthew is pretty adamant he didn't (swear) and I believe his word."
And Ponting said he was not a fan of the flag ceremony, which involves children bending the flags towards each other so the players run through a makeshift tunnel.
"Lots of players have different routines they like to do when they first set foot onto the ground and if you run onto the ground quickly you could have a bit of an accident."