West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Jamaica, 1st day August 2, 2012

A day for watching the crease

Subash Jayaraman in Jamaica
ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day of the second Test between West Indies and New Zealand in Jamaica

Near no-ball of the day
Kemar Roach took a wicket off a no-ball in Antigua and he came mighty close to another one in his first spell of the day. On a pitch that had pace and bounce, Roach had BJ Watling poking one to Chris Gayle at first slip. As is the wont these days, umpire Erasmus asked for a second look to make sure Roach hadn't overstepped. All and sundry believed that Roach had no part of his front foot behind the crease - except for the man upstairs, Richard Kettleborough, who matters. The call stood.

Actual no-ball of the day
It looked like the no-ball problem wasn't Roach's alone. Sunil Narine bowled five of them in his 26 overs. It was as if Roach had passed it on during the break between the Tests. When West Indies appealed for a bat-pad catch off Doug Bracewell, umpire Paul Reiffel quickly acknowledged and the batsman was equally quick in asking for the review. The fact that Reiffel had made an egregious error became secondary when third umpire Kettleborough deemed Narine to have overstepped, even though the evidence did not appear conclusive. In DRS, all's well that ends well?

Watchful partner of the day
As Bracewell called for the review of the bat-pad catch decision, TV cameras also showed Kruger van Wyk paying attention to Narine's front foot and asking for the review, even though he was the non-striker. Even if Bracewell hadn't gone for it, the watchful eyes of van Wyk might have convinced him anyway.

Best of the day
Tino Best was said to be "chomping at the bit" when he was warming the bench during the first Test. When an injury to Ravi Rampaul made room for his selection, the ever-excitable Best gave expression to his pent up feelings. His first ball of the day to Martin Guptill was a snorter and he regularly clocked in excess of 144kph and gained disconcerting bounce. Best had his hands in dismissals of three of New Zealand's key men: he claimed the wickets of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor and completed a clean pick-up and direct hit to get rid of Guptill, who looked set for a century. It was fitting that Best would feature in the final New Zealand wicket to fall, as he took a top-edged steepler from Neil Wagner.

Uncomfortable moment of the day
The fast bowlers' union is long dead. The tail-enders get as good as they give. When Neil Wagner hit a boundary off Roach on the second ball of the 81st over, West Indies promptly took the new red cherry that was available to them. Roach clearly let Wagner know what he thought of his adventure from the previous delivery. He served up an 85.5mph delivery aimed for Wagner's midriff, and an ungainly swat ballooned to fall short of the fine-leg fielder.

Non-nightwatchman of the day
In Antigua, sent in as night-watchman in both the innings, Neil Wagner was dictated by the situation to play dour innings. Here in Jamaica, coming in at No.9, Wagner had the license to throw his bat around at anything he could reach, and so he did. As the eighth and ninth wickets fell, and with only Trent Boult for company, Wagner kicked up a notch. In the next four overs, Wagner hit five boundaries off Narine, Roach and Best, the most memorable one being a pull off Roach in the 83rd over. Four balls later, he fell trying to repeat the shot and gave Roach his four-for.

Subash Jayaraman is a freelancer, blogger and podcaster based in Pennsylvania. He tweets here.