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'It was hot out there': England lament slow over rate penalty in first Ashes Test

England's Ben Stokes (R) and Joe Root (L) walk off at the conclusion of the first Ashes cricket Test. Photo: Patrick Hamilton/AFP

England's Ben Stokes (R) and Joe Root (L) walk off at the conclusion of the first Ashes cricket Test. Photo: Patrick Hamilton/AFP

Published Dec 13, 2021

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Melbourne - England have spoken to officials about speeding up their play after being docked five World Test Championship (WTC) points and their entire match fee for failing to get through their required overs against Australia in the first Ashes test.

Joe Root's side were ruled to be five overs short in the nine-wicket defeat at the Gabba after time allowances were taken into consideration, with match referee David Boon, the former Australia test opener, imposing the sanction.

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Players are fined 20% of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, while the team is penalised one point for each over short.

"What hurts most is the test championship points," England coach Chris Silverwood told British media.

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"This hits the lads in the pocket, but the thing that really gets us is the points because we are competing to get in that final.

"We have been through it with the match referee on areas we can improve.

"It was our first test for a while. We had not had that warm-up game, so the guys were not used to getting around all the time and it was hot out there."

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Australia missed out on the inaugural WTC final in July after being docked points for their slow over rate during the second test against India in Melbourne.

England's failure to fulfil their overs came despite having specialist spinner Jack Leach in the attack at Brisbane, while captain Joe Root also bowled a few overs of spin.

However, with James Anderson and Stuart Broad available for the second test after being rested for the opener, selectors may go with an all-seam attack in Adelaide and drop Leach, who bled 102 runs from his 13 overs.

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That would put England under more pressure to watch the clock as they try to level the five-test series against the Ashes holders.

Reuters

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