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Moments that defined the Cup Down Under

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 28 Maret 2015 | 21.24

Double? No trouble

This World Cup has shown that a double century is the new milestone. Chris Gayle took Zimbabwe apart in the group league, smashing an exhilarating 215. The West Indian shattered South African Gary Kirsten's 188 not out from the 1996 World Cup match against United Arab Emirates, thus posting the highest individual score in the tournament's history. New Zealand's Martin Guptill followed it up in style after he hit a marauding 237 not out against the West Indies in the quarterfinals. The Kiwi became the highest ever World Cup scorer. David Warner hit a 178, Sanga got four tons on the trot... basically, batsmen have never had it so good.

Blimey! England blown away

This is not a World Cup the Englishmen would want to remember for long. They invented the game and here they were, being given a royal sendoff by minnows Bangladesh. Crikey! Winning by 15 runs, Bangladesh moved into the quarters for the first time, where they lost to India. Mohammad Mahmudullah also became the first Bangladesh batsman to score a World Cup century in the England match. To rub some more salt into English wounds, let's not forget that Bangladesh won three out of their last four matches.

Heroes gone

Two heroes strolled into folklore this World Cup. With their loss to South Africa in the quarterfinals, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara bowed out of ODIs. A wave, a nod and it was all over! "Well done on glorious ODI careers @KumarSanga2 and @MahelaJay," tweeted Sachin Tendulkar. We'll miss their grace and poise on and off the pitch.

Ruthless de Villiers

It was his day and AB de Villiers made the most out of it. Some crazy power hitting by the South African skipper saw him scoring the fastest 150 in ODI history as West Indies lost by a massive 257 runs in a one-sided contest. De Villiers struck 17 fours and eight sixes in an awesome exhibition of power hitting. But then, one man's genius is not enough to carry forward an entire team, as we saw in the semis.

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Team India members arrive home; Kohli, Anushka land in Mumbai

MUMBAI: The Indian World Cup team members, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and star batsman Virat Kohli, arrived home from Australia in batches and left for their respective destinations, cricket board sources said.

While Dhoni landed in Delhi, Kohli, along with his actress girlfriend Anushka Sharma, and five players besides Team Director Ravi Shastri, touched down at the Mumbai International Airport.

Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel also returned to Mumbai from Australia after India's semifinal loss in the cricket's showpiece event on March 26, the sources said.

"By tonight all others, who have remained behind, would be back in India," they informed.

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Team India members arrive home; Kohli, Anushka land in Mumbai

MUMBAI: The Indian World Cup team members, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and star batsman Virat Kohli, arrived home from Australia in batches and left for their respective destinations, cricket board sources said.

While Dhoni landed in Delhi, Kohli, along with his actress girlfriend Anushka Sharma, and five players besides Team Director Ravi Shastri, touched down at the Mumbai International Airport.

Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel also returned to Mumbai from Australia after India's semifinal loss in the cricket's showpiece event on March 26, the sources said.

"By tonight all others, who have remained behind, would be back in India," they informed.

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Moments that defined the Cup Down Under

Double? No trouble

This World Cup has shown that a double century is the new milestone. Chris Gayle took Zimbabwe apart in the group league, smashing an exhilarating 215. The West Indian shattered South African Gary Kirsten's 188 not out from the 1996 World Cup match against United Arab Emirates, thus posting the highest individual score in the tournament's history. New Zealand's Martin Guptill followed it up in style after he hit a marauding 237 not out against the West Indies in the quarterfinals. The Kiwi became the highest ever World Cup scorer. David Warner hit a 178, Sanga got four tons on the trot... basically, batsmen have never had it so good.

Blimey! England blown away

This is not a World Cup the Englishmen would want to remember for long. They invented the game and here they were, being given a royal sendoff by minnows Bangladesh. Crikey! Winning by 15 runs, Bangladesh moved into the quarters for the first time, where they lost to India. Mohammad Mahmudullah also became the first Bangladesh batsman to score a World Cup century in the England match. To rub some more salt into English wounds, let's not forget that Bangladesh won three out of their last four matches.

Heroes gone

Two heroes strolled into folklore this World Cup. With their loss to South Africa in the quarterfinals, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara bowed out of ODIs. A wave, a nod and it was all over! "Well done on glorious ODI careers @KumarSanga2 and @MahelaJay," tweeted Sachin Tendulkar. We'll miss their grace and poise on and off the pitch.

Ruthless de Villiers

It was his day and AB de Villiers made the most out of it. Some crazy power hitting by the South African skipper saw him scoring the fastest 150 in ODI history as West Indies lost by a massive 257 runs in a one-sided contest. De Villiers struck 17 fours and eight sixes in an awesome exhibition of power hitting. But then, one man's genius is not enough to carry forward an entire team, as we saw in the semis.

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Vettori's performance key in determining WC final fate: Dhoni

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 27 Maret 2015 | 21.24

SYDNEY: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has identified New Zealand's veteran spinner Daniel Vettori as the key man on whose performance the outcome of the ICC World Cup 2015 final against Australia will depend.

Dhoni on Thursday said it may be the team with a specialist spinner who will win the World Cup. Tournament co-hosts Australia take on New Zealand in a trans-Tasman rivalry in the title round at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.

New Zealand were the first team to enter the final after beating South Africa by four wickets in a thrilling encounter at the Eden Park in Auckland Tuesday.

Australia thumped defending champions India by 95 runs in a comprehensive victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground here on Thursday.

"I think (New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel) Vettori's performance will be crucial," Dhoni was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Despite Australia's impressive form in the build-up to the final, some experts have identified the team's lack of a quality spinner as the only weakness, which opponents could exploit.

However, Vettori is not as fit as he used to be. His activity in recent years has been hampered by a troublesome back and a sore finger.

The 36-year-old has left his best years behind but would be keen to write the last chapter of a long and illustrious career story on his own.

"He is somebody who, in the middle overs, can really get wickets and he's not someone you can easily score off. So he will be the key factor," Dhoni said.

The left-arm orthodox spinner has picked up 15 wickets in eight matches so far. In 294 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Vettori has bagged 305 wickets.
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World Cup 2015: MCG holds no fears for Black Caps, says Southee

MELBOURNE: New Zealand seamer Tim Southee believes the Black Caps have the experience and the firepower to topple Australia in Sunday's ICC World Cup 2015 final in Melbourne.

Full Coverage: ICC World Cup 2015

Southee said the Black Caps were relishing the opportunity of playing in their maiden World Cup final -- a match that will also mark New Zealand's first appearance at the vast Melbourne Cricket Ground in six years.

New Zealand are the form side of the tournament having won all eight of their matches at this World Cup, a sequence that includes two dramatic clashes in Auckland -- a one-wicket win over Australia in the pool phase and Tuesday's semifinal defeat of South Africa sealed by Grant Elliott's six off the second-last ball.

Australia captain Michael Clarke reckons his side's knowledge of playing at the MCG will be a major factor in the final as the home team chase a fifth World Cup title following their emphatic 95-run semifinal victory over defending champions India in Sydney on Thursday.

But that doesn't wash with Southee, who has claimed 15 wickets at 27.13 in the tournament and formed a potent new-ball combination with left-armer Trent Boult, the tournament's leading bowler with 21 wickets at 15.76.

Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden suggested the sheer side of the MCG for a New Zealand team who'd played all their previous matches at this World Cup on their own, much smaller grounds - sparking a tide of derisive comments on social media from Black Caps fans.

But Southee told reporters at the MCG on Friday: "We are not too worried about the size of the ground.

"It's a dream come true for all the guys. This is as good as it gets, taking on Australia in Australia on one of the best cricket grounds in the world."

Veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori has more experience of the MCG than his New Zealand team-mates, having played there seven times since 1997, while skipper Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor have played there twice with Martin Guptill, Grant Elliott, Southee and Kyle Mills all having had one MCG appearance each.

All seven played in New Zealand's last visit to the ground, when they beat Australia by six wickets in 2009.

"We haven't played here for a long time. We have good memories from that (2009) game as well," Southee said.

"A lot of the guys have played in front of pretty big crowds in India. There will be close to 100,000 people screaming (on Sunday).

"It will be interesting to see what it's like here."

Southee added: "The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand does pretty much cover every sport and it is massive.

"We're probably seen as the 'little brothers from across the ditch' and we do quite well in other sports (such as both rugby codes) to compete.

"Australia have had the wood on us over the last couple of years in cricket.

"As a kid growing up it was always Australia that you wanted to play against...You're always wanting to have one-up over the 'big brothers'."

Boult was the destroyer with five for 27 when the Black Caps beat Australia in Auckland during the pool stages on February 28, while Southee grabbed a career-best seven for 33 in the celebrated win over England in Wellington.

"To do what he's done over the last couple of months has been amazing," Southee said of Boult. "We do have a great partnership.

"A bit of swing would be nice. It hasn't swung for us in every game but we've found ways to take wickets.

"If it does swing we do become a big more dangerous." The MCG is also etched deep in New Zealand's sporting psyche as it was where the infamous 'underarm' delivery took place in 1981.

To prevent New Zealand from having any chance of scoring the six they needed to tie, Australia captain Greg Chappell instructed younger brother Trevor to bowl the last ball underarm along the ground to Brian McKechnie, who hurled his bat away in disgust at Australia's lack of sportsmanship.

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World Cup 2015: MCG holds no fears for Black Caps, says Southee

MELBOURNE: New Zealand seamer Tim Southee believes the Black Caps have the experience and the firepower to topple Australia in Sunday's ICC World Cup 2015 final in Melbourne.

Full Coverage: ICC World Cup 2015

Southee said the Black Caps were relishing the opportunity of playing in their maiden World Cup final -- a match that will also mark New Zealand's first appearance at the vast Melbourne Cricket Ground in six years.

New Zealand are the form side of the tournament having won all eight of their matches at this World Cup, a sequence that includes two dramatic clashes in Auckland -- a one-wicket win over Australia in the pool phase and Tuesday's semifinal defeat of South Africa sealed by Grant Elliott's six off the second-last ball.

Australia captain Michael Clarke reckons his side's knowledge of playing at the MCG will be a major factor in the final as the home team chase a fifth World Cup title following their emphatic 95-run semifinal victory over defending champions India in Sydney on Thursday.

But that doesn't wash with Southee, who has claimed 15 wickets at 27.13 in the tournament and formed a potent new-ball combination with left-armer Trent Boult, the tournament's leading bowler with 21 wickets at 15.76.

Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden suggested the sheer side of the MCG for a New Zealand team who'd played all their previous matches at this World Cup on their own, much smaller grounds - sparking a tide of derisive comments on social media from Black Caps fans.

But Southee told reporters at the MCG on Friday: "We are not too worried about the size of the ground.

"It's a dream come true for all the guys. This is as good as it gets, taking on Australia in Australia on one of the best cricket grounds in the world."

Veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori has more experience of the MCG than his New Zealand team-mates, having played there seven times since 1997, while skipper Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor have played there twice with Martin Guptill, Grant Elliott, Southee and Kyle Mills all having had one MCG appearance each.

All seven played in New Zealand's last visit to the ground, when they beat Australia by six wickets in 2009.

"We haven't played here for a long time. We have good memories from that (2009) game as well," Southee said.

"A lot of the guys have played in front of pretty big crowds in India. There will be close to 100,000 people screaming (on Sunday).

"It will be interesting to see what it's like here."

Southee added: "The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand does pretty much cover every sport and it is massive.

"We're probably seen as the 'little brothers from across the ditch' and we do quite well in other sports (such as both rugby codes) to compete.

"Australia have had the wood on us over the last couple of years in cricket.

"As a kid growing up it was always Australia that you wanted to play against...You're always wanting to have one-up over the 'big brothers'."

Boult was the destroyer with five for 27 when the Black Caps beat Australia in Auckland during the pool stages on February 28, while Southee grabbed a career-best seven for 33 in the celebrated win over England in Wellington.

"To do what he's done over the last couple of months has been amazing," Southee said of Boult. "We do have a great partnership.

"A bit of swing would be nice. It hasn't swung for us in every game but we've found ways to take wickets.

"If it does swing we do become a big more dangerous." The MCG is also etched deep in New Zealand's sporting psyche as it was where the infamous 'underarm' delivery took place in 1981.

To prevent New Zealand from having any chance of scoring the six they needed to tie, Australia captain Greg Chappell instructed younger brother Trevor to bowl the last ball underarm along the ground to Brian McKechnie, who hurled his bat away in disgust at Australia's lack of sportsmanship.

Follow TOI Sports on Twitter >> @TOISportsNews

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=World Cup 2015,Tim Southee,ICC World Cup 2015,ICC Cricket World Cup 2015,Cricket World Cup 2015

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Vettori's performance key in determining WC final fate: Dhoni

SYDNEY: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has identified New Zealand's veteran spinner Daniel Vettori as the key man on whose performance the outcome of the ICC World Cup 2015 final against Australia will depend.

Dhoni on Thursday said it may be the team with a specialist spinner who will win the World Cup. Tournament co-hosts Australia take on New Zealand in a trans-Tasman rivalry in the title round at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.

New Zealand were the first team to enter the final after beating South Africa by four wickets in a thrilling encounter at the Eden Park in Auckland Tuesday.

Australia thumped defending champions India by 95 runs in a comprehensive victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground here on Thursday.

"I think (New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel) Vettori's performance will be crucial," Dhoni was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Despite Australia's impressive form in the build-up to the final, some experts have identified the team's lack of a quality spinner as the only weakness, which opponents could exploit.

However, Vettori is not as fit as he used to be. His activity in recent years has been hampered by a troublesome back and a sore finger.

The 36-year-old has left his best years behind but would be keen to write the last chapter of a long and illustrious career story on his own.

"He is somebody who, in the middle overs, can really get wickets and he's not someone you can easily score off. So he will be the key factor," Dhoni said.

The left-arm orthodox spinner has picked up 15 wickets in eight matches so far. In 294 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Vettori has bagged 305 wickets.
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World Cup 2015: Pressure of semifinals got to India, says Sunil Gavaskar

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 26 Maret 2015 | 21.24

SYDNEY: Dejected with Indian batsmen's poor shot selection in their 329-run chase, former skipper Sunil Gavaskar said that the pressure of the cricket World Cup semifinal got to the team as it was outplayed by Australia on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Australia beat India to set up final clash with New Zealand

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's run-a-ball 65 stood tall amid a disappointing show as Shikhar Dhawan (45) and Rohit Sharma (34) failed to capitalised on a 76-run opening stand before the rest of the batting fell apart.

Full Coverage: ICC World Cup 2015

"Team India succumbed under the pressure of big finals. Team India today lost in all departments, especially in batting as they failed to build one strong partnership throughout the innings. The batsmen played irresponsibly and got out to some sloppy shots," said Gavaskar, who is a part of Star Sports Hindi commentary panel.

"While full marks to the Australian team who kept India silent throughout the match and never let them have an upper hand," he added.

Virat Kohli's (1) mistimed pull shot off Mitchell Johnson was also a big blow to India's chances of chasing down the big score as Australia kept chipping away with wickets.

"What disappointed me the most today was their poor shot selection. Virat (Kohli) needs to improvise on this pull shots. The pressure of chasing 329 runs clearly showed off on the Indian batsmen as the Indian batsmen failed to set themselves at the crease and got out to poor shots in order to accelerate the scoring," said a disappointed Gavaskar.

Gavaskar, though, opined that Australian skipper Michael Clarke had the liberty to experiment on the fielding front after their batsmen, led by Steven Smith's 105, had posted 328 for seven after electing to bat first.

"Clarke had a liberty to experiment today. Australia had put up a big score today which gave them room to experiment with their bowling and fielding today," said the cricketer-turned-analyst.

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Clarke salutes Smith as Australia power into World Cup final

SYDNEY: Australia captain Michael Clarke praised the "exceptional" Steve Smith after his side beat defending champions India by 95 runs on Thursday to set a ICC World Cup 2015 final with New Zealand.

READ ALSO: Australia beat India to set up final clash with NZ

Smith's 105 and his second-wicket stand of 182 with opener Aaron Finch (81) powered Australia to 328 for seven after Clarke won the toss.

Full Coverage: ICC World Cup 2015

India were only briefly in the hunt and were eventually dismissed for 233, despite a run-a-ball 65 from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who produced a match-winning fifty in the final against Sri Lanka four years ago.

"I feel really excited. Smithy was exceptional once again, and I was really proud of the execution of our bowlers," said Clarke after a convincing win at the Sydney Cricket Ground where the impressive Mitchell Starc took two for 28 in 8.5 overs and James Faulkner three for 59 in nine.

Sunday's final in Melbourne will give Australia the chance to avenge their one-wicket loss to New Zealand in a pool-phase thriller at Auckland's Eden Park last month.

"Losing to New Zealand really gave us a kick up the backside," said Clarke. "Mentally I think the guys are ready to walk into the final.

"New Zealand have been playing some great cricket, (captain) Brendon (McCullum) has done a great job."

Smith added: "We thought 330 was around par, we knew we had to bowl and field well and the boys did a great job, so roll on Melbourne. It's nice to contribute to a few wins.

"I hope I have more runs in the bank -- a big hundred would be nice."

India made a bold start to their chase, with the highest score ever made by a side batting second to win a one-dayer at the SCG the 334 for six made by Australia against England in 2011.

But once opener Shikhar Dhawan holed out for 45 off Josh Hazlewood, India struggled and even Dhoni's brisk innings came too late to turn the tide.

"Overall Australia played very good cricket. Over 300 is a very big score to chase, but I thought it was just over par," said Dhoni.

"Shikhar Dhawan was batting freely, he didn't need to play the big shot. It was too many for me to chase.

"Our lower order really needs to work hard on their batting."

The 33-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman hinted this may have been his last appearance at the World Cup by saying: "I'm not sure whether it will be my last World Cup."

But with India having an enjoyed an unbeaten run to the semifinals, Clarke said: "Huge congratulations to MS Dhoni and his team, I think they've competed really well in this World Cup.

"I'm pretty sure it won't be his last World Cup, he's got a lot of cricket left in him."

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