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ICC Penalises Arch-Rivals England & Australia Following Edgbaston Cliffhanger

image-lj5e0pq8Australia won the first Ashes Test by two wickets [Source: AP]

In a significant development, the International Cricket Council has sanctioned arch-rivals England and Australia for maintaining a slow over rate in the recently concluded thrilling Test match in Edgbaston. On Tuesday, Australia handed a gut-wrenching two-wicket defeat to the Englishmen, courtesy of a match-winning eighth-wicket stand between Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon. But after the game concluded, both teams were found two overs short of their target in the allotted time. 

So, the match officials found them guilty of breaching article 2.22 of the ICC code of conduct, which imposes a 20 per cent penalty on the players for every over their side fails to deliver in the allotted time. 

As a result, the players were fined forty per cent of their match fees, with the teams being docked two World Test Championship points. However, no formal hearing was conducted, as both captains, Pat Cummins and Ben Stokes, accepted the sanctions. 

The first Test between England and Australia saw the latter seal a thrilling victory on the final day, thanks to the all-round masterclass from skipper Pat Cummins. Chasing a steep target of 281, Australia were down on the mat, reeling at 227 for eight at one stage. However, an unbeaten fighting stand of 55 runs between Cummins and Lyon helped them ace the chase with a few overs to spare. 

After suffering a heart-breaking defeat, England will look to bounce back by winning the second Test of the Ashes, scheduled on June 28 at Lord's.