IT WAS the moment on which the third test turned and last night New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum confirmed the Nigel Llong blunder was a crucial factor in the match.
Third umpire Llong erred in not giving Australian tailender Nathan Lyon out caught for 0 in their first innings in a DRS situation.
Lyon went on to 34 and shared a 74-run stand with Peter Nevill in Australia's first innings.
It was the biggest partnership in a lowscoring match and took away what was shaping as an important first innings lead for New Zealand and put them 22 runs in deficit when the third innings of the test began.
"It definitely had a bearing on the game. At the time it was incredibly frustrating," McCullum said last night.
"You hope when mistakes are made that they don't have a major bearing on the game, but none of us are naïve enough to overlook that it did in this instance."
Lyon had walked three-quarters of the way back to the pavilion while Llong was reviewing the evidence, after umpire S.Ravi had adjudged the batsman to be not out. New Zealand had referred the appeal upstairs.
McCullum said he didn't get into pointing out where Lyon had gone to - an admission that he had touched the ball with his bat and knew he was out.
"Officials are there to make those decisions and it's not up to the captain out on the field to coerce someone into it.
"Everyone saw it and everyone knows what happened and we're all of the same opinion."
McCullum was at pains to play-up the nice guy image the Black Caps pride themselves on under the skipper, saying Australia made the most of the second life given to Lyon.
"At the same time, to Australia's credit, they seized that opportunity, they were able to put on two very strong partnerships which gave them a short lead but more importantly time out of the game in terms of us having to bat under lights. It had a bearing but at the end we had an opportunity and weren't good enough to take it," he added.
"There were frustrations but we're not going to blame that. That's not our mentality as a side."
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