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Sunday March 29, 2015 MYT 9:51:00 AM
Sunday March 29, 2015 MYT 9:57:27 AM
by rashvinjeet singh
SO after six weeks, on Sunday, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 comes down to one final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. And the whole cricket world will be watching as Australia take on neighbours and co-hosts New Zealand in what promises to be a cracking tie.
The rivalry between the countries across the Tasman Sea is keenest during rugby matches, but the vibe during cricket matches is just as intense.
Australia, four-time winners, will start as slight favourites. But New Zealand, led by Brendon McCullum, will be just as pumped to win the big prize. They are the only unbeaten team in the tournament and having never featured in a final till now, will have less pressure to lift the trophy. Plus, there is the fact that they defeated Australia in the group stages by one wicket.
In winning all their eight games so far, New Zealand have also displayed courage. And this was seen especially in their semi-final game against South Africa.
The game of the tournament (I doubt the final will be as exciting) saw New Zealand winning by one run with only one ball remaining.
They fought really hard and with some luck, they managed to pull through one of the most exhilarating comebacks I have ever followed in cricket.
I was following the game via Internet live scoring and later on a WhatsApp work group. A few cricket fans were constantly updating the group on the latest score.
At one point it was 10 runs from five balls and then five runs from two balls and so on. At that point, I was stuck in traffic and wishing I could have watched the game live.
The intense nature of that match reminded me of the movie Lagaan where the good guys emerged victorious in the most dramatic of circumstances.
It has to be said though that South Africa wasted at least three good opportunities to get important wickets.
But while many feel sadness for South Africa, no one will begrudge a New Zealand win on Sunday as they are not seen as arrogant as the sport’s so-called big three – India, Australia and England.
Australia have been playing really well, however, and this was seen in their crushing 95-run win against India in the second semi-final.
They have obviously got over their loss against their neighbours in the group stages (with captain Michael Clarke saying that it gave them a kick up their backside) and on Sunday, they’ll be aiming to really put the ghost of that match to bed.
The game could go either way.
But while my money is on Australia to win, I really wouldn’t mind losing should New Zealand pick up their first ever World Cup trophy.
The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.
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Bend it like Bedi, Rashvinjeet Singh, cricket, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
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