Wellington Test: Umpiring gaffe works in Australia's advantage
The New Zealand-Australia contest saw another umpiring controversy on the opening day of the First Test in Wellington on Friday when Australian batsman Adam Voges was given a reprieve after being bowled.
New Zealand were bowled out for 183 in 48 overs within just two sessions and Australia looked well placed on 147 for 3 just before stumps but it could have easily been four down.
Voges was bowled by New Zealand pacer Doug Bracewell in the final over of the day’s play, only for umpire Richard Illingworth to signal a no-ball.
Television replays later confirmed that it was a legitimate delivery, to New Zealand’s dismay.
The cricket summer in New Zealand has been mired in umpiring controversies, the most recent one happened when Australian allrounder Mitchell Marsh was given not out on a caught and bowled appeal, only for the decision to be overturned after a massive crowd uproar when the replay on the big screen showed the ball had not touched the ground.
Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood, the tourists’ chief tormenter with figures of four for 42, said the incident rekindled memories of the dismissal of Mitchell Marsh a week back.
“We were just hoping it did not come up on the big screen too quickly,” Hazlewood said, with the Australian team aware of an umpiring error coming to Voges’ rescue.
“The umpires made the decision and we can just go off that. That’s what they’re there for, to make those tough decisions and that’s how it went.”
The New Zealand were disappointed with the decision but Mark Craig admitted that these things happen in sport and not much could be done about it.
“That’s cricket. Once his (the umpire’s) arm goes out there’s not much you can do about it. That’s the way it goes,” Craig said.
“There’s obviously a bit of disappointment but we can’t do much about it.”
The Australian innings resumes on Saturday morning with Usman Khawaja batting on 57 and Voges on 7.
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