Sydney: Ten magic moments in the 2015 Cricket World Cup group stage which concluded on Sunday:
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 has become a cult hero, charging in with bandanna strapped tightly around his head, with cheeks painted in the colours of the Afghan flag. He admits his hero is Rambo but unlike Sylvester Stallone's on-screen lone wolf, he performs a nifty cartwheel when he takes a wicket. Hassan was also at the non-striker's end when Shapoor Zadran hit the winning runs in the historic win over Scotland.
Chris Gayle. Pic/AFP
Gayle takes tweet revenge - If West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron was trying to get Chris Gayle fired up when he retweeted a call from a fan to pension off the star opener, it certainly did the trick. "Gayle goes... Can't buy a run. Let's give him a retirement package ... Can't fail repeatedly and still front up based on reputation," was the post retweeted by the Windies boss. Two days later, Gayle smashed the first ever World Cup double century in the win over Bangladesh. Cameron apologised for his blunder. "No offense intended. Full apologies extended. Rally round the West Indies," he wrote on Twitter.
Joyce freed on bail - Ireland's Ed Joyce had a lucky break when he survived the ball hitting the stumps while batting against the United Arab Emirates in Brisbane. Amjad Javed thought he'd struck with his fourth ball when an inswinger beat left-hander Joyce's defence and caused the LED lights on the bails to flash. But although the off-bail was disturbed, it landed back in its groove and Joyce, who stood his ground as seamer Javed celebrated prematurely, was not out. Joyce was eventually out for 37.
Afghanistan to win World Cup, says robot - A New Zealand robot predicted World Cup glory for Afghanistan although even the machine's programmer said such an outcome was unlikely. The University of Canterbury's robot Ikram made the prediction using software developed by doctoral student Eduardo Sandoval. When the flags of the 14 participating nations were placed in front of the robot it selected Afghanistan. "Of course this is unlikely, but with cricket the result can always be unexpected," Sandoval said. It was wide of the mark as Afganistan went out of the tournament with just a win against Scotland to their name.
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 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.
Steyn enters The Matrix - South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn said seeing skipper AB de Villiers bat is just like watching the character of Neo in The Matrix movie. In The Matrix, Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, is transformed from an unassuming computer technician into someone who is revealed to have super-human powers, be they fighting skills or an ability to dodge bullets. Against the West Indies, de Villiers smashed the fastest 150 in one-day international cricket during a 66-ball 162. "Oh, man, it's like watching The Matrix movie, really. There is Neo for you right there. Like he just doesn't understand how good he is," Steyn said.
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.
Music while you work - Tournament DJs, supplying music snippets in between overs or during breaks, have been quick witted and quick off the mark. They played the Monkees' "I'm a Believer" when Pakistan were trying to chase down the West Indies in Christchurch and "Doctor, Doctor" by the Thompson Twins as New Zealand's Martin Guptill was treated for cramp against Bangladesh.
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