West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Jamaica, 2nd day August 4, 2012

Chris 'Tavaré' Gayle?

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

The Finn Effect
In the 26th over of the West Indies innings, Doug Bracewell bowled a delivery to Shivnarine Chanderpaul that slid down the leg side. Chanderpaul seemed to be attempting a glide down to fine leg but the ball took the thigh pad and rolled to the boundary. Everyone was surprised to see umpire Paul Reiffel signaling a dead ball. Given the drama surrounding Steve Finn at Headingley, everyone quickly looked towards the stumps at the non-striker's end to see whether Bracewell had knocked off the bails in his delivery stride. He didn't. It was just a strange call from the umpire, because he reckoned the batsman wasn't offering a shot.

The Tavaré Effect
It was an uncharacteristically sedate innings from Chris Gayle. In his comeback innings at Antigua, he biffed Chris Martin for four consecutive boundaries in the first six deliveries he faced. He had to work a bit harder today, but in his 55-ball innings he ended with a strike rate of only 14.54, drawing comparisons with a dour former England opening batsman. Chris 'Tavaré' Henry Gayle?

The shot
Darren Sammy had claims to that when he smacked a length delivery off Trent Boult so straight, that he nearly injured the umpire Marais Erasmus. When Samuels neared his century with only the No.11 for company, he unfurled a few audacious shots and Tim Southee bore the brunt of it. It included a loft over the sightscreen, and another one over long-off but the slap shot over cover to get to his first Test century at home stood out as the shot of the day.

The near miss
Tim Southee was in the middle of a very good spell without much luck. He had earlier induced an edge off Gayle which was dropped by Ross Taylor at slip. He later had Marlon Samuels edge towards second slip, where Brendon McCullum dived to his right to try and pluck it with his right hand. He quickly suggested that he wasn't sure if the catch was clean. Upon review, the ball had bounced. Such was Southee's luck on a day when he had bowled good enough to pick up a five-wicket haul.

The welcome distraction
Cricket may not be a part of the Olympics, but for a brief moment, the Olympics was part of the cricket. During a stoppage in play, the Women's 100m heats were shown in the big screen. As the camera skimmed past the contestants, Jamaica's very own and reigning Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce was shown. The Sabina Park crowd roared in approval. There will also be a "strategic drinks break" on Sunday to show the Men's 100m final from London on the big screen.

The dodgy ball-tracker
In the 54th over, a full, swinging delivery from Southee hit Darren Sammy low on the front foot, but the umpire Reiffel turned down the LBW appeal. Even as he was in his follow through, Southee made the "T" signal and Taylor followed up instantaneously. The video replay made those who were watching to believe it would have gone on to hit the leg stump, but the ball-tracking system showed it to be hitting bang on middle stump. Either Reiffel completely flubbed it or the ball tracker did. The consensus in the press box is it was the latter.

The sightscreen
It's quite common in grounds around the world having someone walk right behind the bowler's arm at the wrong time, or a faulty sightscreen not turning from sponsor ads, causing a stoppage in play. Samuels wasn't too bothered. He didn't notice the background hadn't turned white and yet continued to face the bowler.