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5 instances when 5 runs were awarded as penalty

Australian Test team
Australian Test team
Renin Wilben Albert

While cricket fans would be aware of most of the rules in the game, one shouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t well versed with the penalty regulations in the sport. These sanctions are very rarely used, and are highly technical ones.

Five penalty runs are awarded to the batting team if the ball hits a helmet which is not being worn, but placed on the field (mostly behind the wicket-keeper). The same rule applies if a fielder fields the ball with his cap or other clothing item or if a fielding side is found to have deliberately obstructed the batsman. A five-run penalty is also applicable if the ball is touched by a fielder who has come on to the field without the umpire's permission.

On the other hand, penalty runs are also given to the fielding team if the batsmen try to deliberately run short or in case they are deemed to have caused damaged to the pitch despite warning. Further, if one team is found tampering with the ball, the other side is handed five runs.

In this feature, we take a look at five rare instances in international cricket when five runs were given as a penalty.

#1 Australia penalised five runs for running on the pitch at SCG

Warner debates with Aleem Dar over penalty runs
Warner debates with Aleem Dar over penalty runs

Australia comfortably won the Sydney Test of January 2020 by 279 runs to clinch the three-match series against New Zealand 3-0. However, there was an interesting incident as five runs were awarded to the Kiwis on Day 4 by umpire Aleem Dar as the Aussies were found to be running dangerously on the pitch.

The penalty was handed over in the 50th over of Australia’s second innings. Dar had earlier warned Marnus Labuschagne over the same. However, a couple of balls later, after David Warner clipped Matt Henry to mid-wicket and took off for a single, Dar told him that the run did not count and that New Zealand would get five runs as he had run straight down the pitch.

The five runs were added to New Zealand's first innings, making it 256 from 251. As a result, New Zealand’s fourth-innings target was reduced from 421 to 416. Not too pleased with Dar’s decision, Warner asked Dar, “What am I doing wrong? What am I doing?” before gesturing to the other umpire Marias Erasmus "what do you want me to do, play the shot and jump this way (sideways)?"

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#2 India penalised five runs for running on pitch (Indore Test 2016)

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja

A similar incident to the Warner-Labuschagne one occurred during the second day of the third Test between India and New Zealand at Indore in October 2016. India were penalised five runs after all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was given a second warning for running on the pitch.

Jadeja was facing left-arm seamer Trent Boult towards the end of India’s first innings. Despite being warned, he again ran straight down the middle a second time after which umpire Bruce Oxenford awarded New Zealand five runs.

After India declared their first innings at a massive 557 for five, New Zealand began their innings at 5 for no loss. The penalty did not have a significant impact on the result of the Test though, as Ravichandran Ashwin’s 13 wickets led them to a 321-run win and a 3-0 clean sweep.

#3 Sri Lanka hit with five-run penalty for running short

Roshen Silva
Roshen Silva

A bizarre incident occurred during the second day of the second Test between Sri Lanka and England at Pallekele in November 2018. Sri Lanka were handed a five-run penalty after Roshen Silva, who top-scored for the hosts with 85 in the first innings, cut Jack Leach and headed to the non-striker’s end without much urgency, assuming the ball had reached the boundary.

However, on realising that Moeen Ali had stopped the ball successfully before it reached the boundary, Silva headed back to the batting crease without grounding his bat at non-striker’s end. The umpires concluded that the batsman have deliberately run short and hence awarded England five runs. The penalty runs were added to England’s first innings total.

The visitors went on to win the Test by 57 runs as skipper Joe Root hit a magnificent 124 in the second innings.

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#4 South Africa ball tampering incident of 2013

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis

Much before Australia’s Newlands 2018 shame, South Africa were docked five runs for alleged ball-tampering during the third day of the second Test against Pakistan at Dubai in October 2013.

After former South African captain Faf du Plessis was seen rubbing the ball on his trousers, close to his zip, the on-field umpires -- Rod Tucker and Ian Gould, as well as TV umpire Paul Reiffel, stepped into action. Pakistan were 62-3 in the 31st over when the umpires changed the ball and awarded Pakistan five runs.

However, AB de Villiers maintained that du Plessis did no wrong.

"Honestly, we're not the team that scratches the ball. We play in a fair manner. Obviously we want to swing the ball as much as you can and try to get it to reverse. We don't cheat, it's as simple as that," the South African legend had stated back then.

South Africa won the Test by an innings and 92 runs as Graeme Smith smashed 234 and de Villiers 164.

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#5 When Pakistan were penalised five runs twice!

Pakistani batswomen during aT20 game
Pakistani batswomen during aT20 game

During the India-Pakistan Women’s World T20 encounter at Guyana in November 2018, something highly unusual happened even by the standard of rare. India began their chase of 124 with 10 runs already added to their total as Pakistan were docked five runs each twice for running on the pitch.

Pakistan's batswomen Nida Dar and Bismah Maroof, who both hit half-centuries, were warned by the umpires after the 13th over for running on the danger area. Following the first ball of the 18th over, the batting side were penalised five runs for repeating the offence, and India were awarded another five on the last ball of the innings.

Pakistan posted a challenging 133 for 7 on the board batting first. However, with 10 runs already in their kitty, India needed only 124 to the game, and did so easily, clinching the match by seven wickets.

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Edited by Kingshuk Kusari

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