Lyon gets behind Pattinson after costly no-ball
Twice in one innings at the MCG in December, James Pattinson appeared to have dismissed West Indies batsman Carlos Brathwaite, only to have the umpires retrospectively call him for no-balls. Brathwaite scored a fifty, but Pattinson's errors did not prove too costly in the match. His latest transgression cost far more runs, and could yet be a significant moment in determining the outcome of this Test.
Brendon McCullum was on 39 when he cut hard at Pattinson and was brilliantly caught by Mitchell Marsh at gully, but umpire Richard Kettleborough told McCullum to wait while the no-ball was checked. Replays confirmed Pattinson had failed to get his heel behind the crease, McCullum went on to break the record for the fastest Test hundred and finished with 145, and New Zealand posted 370 on a pitch that should have helped the fast bowlers.
"No-balls are a part of the game, we all know that," Australian spinner Nathan Lyon said. "I know it's easy for you guys to sit here and say get your foot behind the front line, but you've got to play in front of a full crowd, there's a lot of adrenaline going. James Pattinson was just trying to do his best for his country. We're going to be right behind James and he has got a big role to do for us in the second innings."
The reprieve for McCullum was the stroke of luck that New Zealand seemed due after they were wrongly denied the wicket of Adam Voges on the first day in Wellington, when he was bowled by a Doug Bracewell no-ball that should not have been called. It took Australia more than 15 overs after that to break the partnership between McCullum and Corey Anderson - and those overs cost more than 150 runs.
"I don't think our heads dropped, I think a lot of momentum swung their way," Lyon said. "And credit to Corey and Brendon, they ran with it. They played a lot of shots and as I keep saying, they rode their luck - both of them. But as I said before, I think we actually toiled quite hard and stuck with it."
One of the more surprising statistics about McCullum's innings was that it was almost entirely against pace bowlers - he crunched 54 from 22 balls off Josh Hazlewood, and punished Marsh with 37 off 18, while also scoring freely against Jackson Bird and Pattinson. But McCullum faced only one ball from Lyon, who was not introduced by Steven Smith until the 35th over, when McCullum was already into the 80s.
"When someone is on like that, you want to challenge yourself, especially as a spinner," Lyon said. "You want to challenge yourself against the best strikers in the business. It would have been a great challenge. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance there. He was on today. Hopefully I'll get the chance in the second dig to take his wicket.
"Pretty good striking, pretty amazing striking really. He has been a credit to the game of cricket the way he has conducted himself for New Zealand for a long period of time, so to see him come out there, that was pretty amazing. He rode his luck and that's the way he has played cricket. I'm pretty sure it's the way that he'd want to go down in his career: a person that took the game on."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale