Australia cop five-run penalty at the SCG

Australia penalised five runs after Umpire Aleem Dar ruled that Marnus Labuschagne and then David Warner ran down the middle of the pitch

New Zealand have been given a head start in their huge run chase at the SCG after Australia were penalised for repeatedly running down the protected area of the pitch.

The penalty was delivered in the 50th over by veteran umpire Aleem Dar, who first warned Australia's Marnus Labuschagne for running down the middle of the wicket after cutting Kiwi quick bowler Matt Henry for one.

Two balls later, David Warner clipped Henry to mid-wicket and took off for a quick single only to arrive at the non-striker's end where Dar told him three things: that he had ran down protected area of the wicket; that his run did not count; and that his side would be penalised five runs.

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The five runs were added to New Zealand's first innings, boosting it from 251 to 256 to leave the tourists 416 to win the third Domain Test.

Law 41.14 of the MCC Laws of Cricket states 'it is unfair to cause deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch', which relates to the protected area of the pitch, an area covered by an imaginary rectangle 60 centimetres wide that begins 1.5 metres from each popping crease.

If an umpire determines a batter could have avoided running into the protected area, the batting team is given a first and final warning. And if it happens again, the batting team is penalised five runs.

Warner was confused when Dar informed him that his side had been penalised, expressing his frustrations before asking the umpire Marias Erasmus "what do you want me to do, play the shot and jump this way?" as he motioned jumping sideways.

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"I think it's a fair point from David Warner," said former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee on Fox Cricket.

"I mean, where's he meant to run?"

Fox Cricket analyst Kerry O'Keeffe concurred with Lee.

"I don’t think he could have veered off quicker than he did, given his momentum," O'Keeffe said.

"There was no intent to really churn it up … he actually tried to veer quickly after he played the shot."

Domain Test Series v New Zealand

Australia squad: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson

New Zealand: Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson (c)

First Test: Australia won by 296 runs

Second Test: Australia won by 247 runs

Third Test: January 3-7, SCG (Seven, Fox & Kayo)