November 15, 2018 / 1:02 PM / a month ago

Sri Lanka get bizarre five-run penalty for running short

Cricket - England v Sri Lanka, Second Test - Pallekele, Sri Lanka - November 15, 2018. England's captain Joe Root (C) celebrates with his teammates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella (2nd L behind). REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka were hit with five penalty runs on the second day of the second test against England after match officials ruled the hosts’ batsmen breached the law governing deliberate short runs.

Roshen Silva, who topscored for the hosts with 85, cut spinner Jack Leach away down to the boundary and ambled to the non-striker’s end, assuming the ball had gone for a four.

Silva had not grounded his bat and crossed back to return to the batting crease after watching Moeen Ali chase the ball down to scoop it back in play before it could cross the boundary.

The umpires interpreted the batsman to have deliberately run short and enforced the penalty as per the law.

“Cricket’s a complex game with all its rules and regulations but something happened here in Pallekele that I don’t think I’ve seen in my 20 years of playing and covering test cricket,” former England captain Mike Atherton said on Sky Sports.

“I don’t actually think Sri Lanka were deliberately trying to steal a run, it was just dozy cricket from Roshen Silva.”

The penalty runs were added to England’s first innings total, taking the touring side’s tally to 290.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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