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New Zealand blame batting, not umpire for Test hiding from Aussies

Wellington: New Zealand blamed their own poor batting and not a costly umpiring blunder for their heavy defeat in the first Test against Australia on Monday. But rival captains Brendon McCullum and Steve Smith agreed the method of ruling on no-balls needs to be examined.

Australia wrapped up the Test by an innings and 52 runs on the fourth day on the back of Adam Voges' 239 after he was wrongly given not out when bowled for seven. Bowler Doug Bracewell was adjudged to have sent down a no-ball, although TV replays showed it was a legitimate delivery.

"Maybe that's something that needs to be looked at just to make sure that you get the right decision all the time," said McCullum. Smith said it was important to get correct calls as much as possible.

"Everyone makes mistakes, whether you're a player or umpire and hopefully they can find a way to resolve that so those sort of mistakes don't happen too much in the future," Smith said. But McCullum said New Zealand were effectively out of the game well before Voges' reprieve, after being sent in to bat and being quickly reduced to 51-5 as the Australia quicks exploited the green-topped wicket.

'Completely outplayed'
"It's one thing to win the toss in seamer-friendly conditions but it's another thing to execute as well as what they did. I thought they were outstanding," McCullum said. "From lunchtime on the first day we were trying to play catch-up and were never able to do it. In the end we were completely outplayed."

New Zealand were all out for 183 in their first innings and 327 in the second, while Australia made 562 in their only bat with Voges and Usman Khawaja (140) dominating. While disappointed with Richard Illingworth's umpiring blunder late on the first day, McCullum had only praise for Voges' 504-minute innings.

"Adam, as well the strength of character to overcome that non-dismissal that night then to go on to post a sizable total shows not only how good a player he is but how strong a player he is as well," the New Zealand skipper said.

"Rich Illingworth will be pretty disappointed about it I'm guessing. It's bit of a shame but I've said all along you've got to take the rough with the smooth in this game and credit to Voges for making it count that bit of fortune he did receive.

"The next morning when we arrived at the ground we thought we were still in the game but the way they (Voges and Khawaja) put together that partnership took us right out of the game." Smith also reserved special praise for Voges who has a batting average of 97.46, after being ahead of the legendary Don Bradman's 99.94 before he was dismissed in Wellington. "I think Adam Voges has been absolutely outstanding. We were calling him Don Bradman this game after he got his average up over 100," Smith said.

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