Craig calm after poor no-ball call denies Black Caps


Mark Craig refused to lay blame at the umpire's door after a highly questionable decision cost New Zealand on the first day of the first Test with Australia.

A supreme bowling performance at Basin Reserve ruined Brendon McCullum's 100th Black Caps Test outing as the hosts were all out for just 183 in 48 overs, Josh Hazlewood taking 4-42.

The tourists reached 147-3 at the close of play, Tim Southee (2-22) accounting for Australian openers Joe Burns (0) and David Warner (5) cheaply, but they ought to have been four down as Doug Bracewell bowled Adam Voges on four in the final over of the day. 

Umpire Richard Illingworth called a no-ball, only for replays to show the bowler had his heel comfortably behind the popping crease, but Craig pointed to errors in the field, including his drop of Steve Smith on 18 before eventually accounting for the Australian captain after he made 71.

"That's cricket I suppose. Once the umpires thrown his arm out, there's not much you can do about it so it's the way it goes," he said.

"There was obviously a bit of disappointment but like I said we can't do much about it now so we just look forward to tomorrow.

"Looking back I probably owe the boys 50 runs, putting Smith down at second. No one likes dropping catches, it's pretty disappointing personally but we move forward.

"That's the rub of the green, another day it could have gone to BJ [Watling, wicketkeeper] or anyone so it's just part and parcel."

Craig ultimately put the hosts' collapse down to a fine Australian bowling display, but he still sees reason for optimism ahead of day two.

"If we'd managed to get one or two more wickets at the end there it probably would have been parity, a pretty even day.

"I think after losing the toss and getting put out we would have taken five or six down any day. 

"You've got to give it to the way those Aussie boys bowled, I think when they got it in the right areas they showed it was very tough to score.

"We've got to come out and put the ball in the right areas and see if we can grab a couple early and see where we go from there. That first session tomorrow morning, it's crucial for us."