Plays of the day April 4, 2009

Munaf and O'Brien face off, and Tom tees off

Plays of the day for day two of the third Test between New Zealand and India in Wellington
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Round the stumps
Zaheer Khan didn't hit rhythm right away today. It looked New Zealand would get off to a reasonable start, especially from the way Martin Guptill played. In his fourth over, though, Zaheer went round the stumps, and got his first ball from there to bounce into Guptill's body. Surprised by the sharp bounce and inward movement, Guptill was late in playing the defensive shot, and played the ball on to the stumps.

Through the legs
Munaf Patel to Iain O'Brien. The batsman defends the ball back to the bowler, and covers his stumps, and is in the crease. But Munaf still wants a shy at the stumps, so he goes low, and finds a wee little gap O'Brien's legs to get the ball through. Too bad he still couldn't find the stumps.

Also featuring in the Munaf-O'Brien pleasantries were bouncers, some of which were dished the other way round yesterday. Munaf bounced him one today and looks were exchanged. Wonder what was said then.

Bow to the legend
Think twice before believing Jesse Ryder is the most popular player in Wellington. When Chris "Tom" Martin comes to bat, the decibel levels rise like they have never risen before. The first ball Martin faced today was a yorker from Harbhajan down the leg side, and the cheers then, presumably at Martin's first runs of the series, proved to be too early. But Martin would get off the mark, with a straight loft off Harbhajan, sending the crowd into a frenzy. For someone who has scored just two runs in his 11 previous innings that must have been a particularly satisfying way to get off the mark.

Milestone man
This has been a good year for O'Brien for he has established himself in the New Zealand and this Test has been one with milestones for the Wellington lad. He brought up his 50 Test wickets yesterday, and was pretty proud of it. But when he swatted a full delivery off Munaf straight past mid-off, he crossed another milestone, albeit less significant - 100 Test runs, in his 17th Test. Forty-two of those runs have come in this series, and consequently - at 4.9 - his batting average is now more than twice Martin's - 2.28.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo