Of Hassan’s cartwheel to Wahab’s kiss to Watson
March 30 2015 08:00 PM

Wahab Riaz peppered Shane Watson with a series of short balls before eyeballing and applauding the veteran all-rounder.

Magic moments of the World CUP

Captain Morgan or invisible man?

England captain Eoin Morgan was introduced as ‘Eoin Rogers’ by the mayor of Wellington when the team arrived in the New Zealand capital.
Morgan, 28, shrugged off the gaffe: “I’ve been called a lot worse. She got the hardest part right.”
 
Rambo inspires Afghanistan
Afghanistan fast bowler Hamid Hassan became a cult hero, charging in with bandanna strapped tightly around his head, with cheeks painted in the colours of the Afghan flag.
He admitted his hero was Rambo but unlike Sylvester Stallone’s on-screen lone wolf, he performed a nifty cartwheel when he took a wicket. Hassan was also at the non-striker’s end when Shapoor Zadran hit the winning runs in the historic win over Scotland.
 
Choke’s on you, Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell joked with the Auckland crowd that New Zealand would crumble in their pursuit of a modest 152-run target to defeat his Australians in the pool phase by turning to the fans and making a choking gesture by clasping his hands around his throat.
Moments later, Kane Williamson launched a six over Maxwell’s head for a dramatic one-wicket win.
 
That’s pants, Yasir
Pakistan leg spinner Yasir Shah made a brave but fruitless, diving attempt to prevent a four in the win against South Africa in Auckland. Worse was to follow as millions of TV viewers around the world got a glimpse of Yasir’s pristine white Y-fronts as his trousers got caught in the boundary ropes.
 
Bugs life in Hamilton
New Zealand and Bangladesh players had to call for insect sprays to fend off swarms of black bugs which descended on Hamilton’s Seddon Park.
On a steamy, muggy day in the city, bugs caused a number of brief stoppages as Bangladesh batted in the early afternoon. It was also reported that nearby pharmacies had run out of insect repellent as players and fans sought relief.

Bangladesh’s ‘Bryan brothers’

Bangladesh fast bowler Taskin Ahmed and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza mimicked US tennis brothers Mike and Bob Bryan’s famous leaping chest bump celebration when Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed. It was a powerful collision, sending both men falling to the ground.
 
Sound of Wahab hands clapping
In a tense quarter-final between Pakistan and Australia, Wahab Riaz peppered Shane Watson with a series of short balls before eyeballing and applauding the veteran all-rounder.
Wahab also blew him a kiss for luck during one of the tournament’s most hostile spells of fast bowling.
Watson had the last laugh as he was dropped by Rahat Ali before leading his team to victory, although both men were later fined.
 
Guptill best ever—again
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill smashed a World Cup record 237 in the quarter-final against the West Indies, passing the previous best of 215 set by Gayle against Zimbabwe earlier in the tournament. He also beat his own personal record of 189, the previous best score in a one-day international by a New Zealand batsman.
 
South African hurts South Africa
Johannesburg-born Grant Elliott made an undefeated 84 in what proved to be a crucial match-clinching innings for New Zealand in a memorable semi-final against South Africa. He secured victory with a huge six off Dale Steyn.
 
Clarke signs off in style
Australia captain Michael Clarke dedicated the World Cup title to Phillip Hughes, the teammate who died after being hit on the head by a bouncer last year. “I’m sure everybody standing on this stage will say we played this World Cup with 16 players,” said Clarke who made a 74 in the final. “This victory is dedicated to our little brother Phillip Hughes.”


Hits and misses

HITS
Australia

Australia cemented their status as the world’s top-ranked team in one-day cricket by seeing off New Zealand in the final to clinch their fifth World Cup. It was also a perfect finish to his ODI career for skipper Michael Clarke, who made a fine 74, and movingly dedicated victory to his former teammate Phillip Hughes, who died last year after hit by a ball in the neck during a domestic match.
 
Afghanistan

Cricket’s boys from nowhere gave Sri Lanka and Bangladesh a scare before losing by 275 runs to Australia, who racked up a World Cup record total of 417, and by nine wickets to England.
But in between they clinched a thrilling one-wicket win over Scotland with tailender Shapoor Zadran hitting the winning runs before sprinting off and collapsing to the Dunedin ground in a memorable celebration.

Batsmen
Bigger bats and tighter fielding restrictions made the 2015 World Cup a batsman’s paradise. There were three 400-plus totals. Australia made 417 for six against Afghanistan while South Africa twice went through the barrier -- 408 for five against the West Indies and 411 for four in their game with Ireland.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill hit a World Cup record 237 not out against the West Indies, surpassing the previous World Cup best of 215, made by Chris Gayle against Zimbabwe at Canberra earlier in this tournament. Gayle and Marlon Samuels also set a new partnership record for any ODI wicket of 371 in the win over Zimbabwe.

MISSES
England

England exited in the first round having failed to beat any of the four Test nations in their pool. Their misery was completed in a loss to Bangladesh in Adelaide where they were bowled out for 260 chasing 275 to win. England have never won the World Cup despite being finalists in 1979, 1987 and 1992.
 
ICC
The sport’s rulers were both praised but largely criticised for their plan to cut the number of teams taking part at the 2019 World Cup in England from 14 to 10.
They also came under fire for fining Wahab Riaz and Shane Watson after the pair went eye-to-eye in a compelling ball v bat confrontation in Pakistan’s quarter-final with Australia ,while merely giving their own president Mustafa Kamal a slap on wrist for his claims that Bangladesh’s loss to India had been “pre-arranged”.

Stars go out
Dale Steyn and Virat Kohli should have been amongst the standout performers, but the reputations of two of the sport’s marquee fast bowlers and batsmen suffered over the six weeks.
Steyn took just 11 wickets in eight games and saved his worst to last, carted for one for 76 in the semi-final loss to New Zealand and conceding the match-clinching six to Grant Elliott in the final over.
Kohli, the swashbuckling batting superstar of India., made 107 in the opener against Pakistan but failed to get beyond 46 in his seven other innings. He made just one off 13 balls in the semis.



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