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Best and Worst of World Cup 2007
by Gulu Ezekiel
May 11, 2007
This World Cup has to be the longest and most tedious of all sporting events in history. Imagine the Fifa World Cup football with 32 teams finishing in 30 days and the ICC World Cup cricket with 16 teams dragging on for 47!

Below is a selection of the best and worst of the World Cup:

Best shot: England wicket-keeper Paul Nixon reverse slog-sweeping Muralitharan for a massive six.

Worst shot: Sachin Tendulkar caught behind and almost stumped at the same time off the bowling of Bangladesh’s Abdur Razzak. The (former) master looked clueless.

Most dynamic innings: Undoubtedly Adam Gilchrist’s batting in the final, 149 of the best.

Least dynamic innings: All three played by Sourav Ganguly. What was the dasher of old doing, hanging around and scratching for runs against Bangladesh, Bermuda and Sri Lanka?

Most dynamic bowling: Lanka’s Lasith ‘Slinga’ Malinga—four wickets in four balls—and nearly five in five. Unprecedented in the history of international cricket.

Least dynamic bowling: Harbhajan Singh—20 overs against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and not a wicket to show for it.

Most successful innovation: Adam Gilchrist stuffing a half-torn squash ball into his left glove during the final to improve his grip. It obviously worked, even if it stretched the spirit of the game.

Least successful innovation: Those pesky earpieces the umpires were fitted with ostensibly to pick up faint edges. It picked up EVERYTHING except faint edges according to the umpires who claimed to be nearly totally deaf at the end of every match.

Biggest batting blast: Six sixes in an over by South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs against the Netherlands. Like Malinga’s feat, unprecedented in the history of international cricket.

Smallest batting whimper: Ian Bell and Michael Vaughan’s opening stand of nine runs from 45 balls against South Africa. What were they thinking?

Saddest moment: Undoubtedly the tragic murder of Pakistan’s England-born coach Bob Woolmer.

Maddest moment: Umpire Aleem Dar telling the two teams they would have to return the next day to complete three overs after the final had been won and lost.

Baddest moment: Woolmer again.

Silkiest batting: Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene’s smooth century in the semi-finals against New Zealand.

Silliest batting: South Africa’s panicky mad charge in their semi-final against Australia.

Fattest cricketer: Undoubtedly Bermuda’s cult-figure Dwayne Leverock. Can you imagine a 300-pounder in any other sport apart from Sumo wrestling?

Fittest cricketers: The entire Aussie bunch.

ICC Blunder’s Section:

1. The anti-Nostradamus: Predicting in advance scheduling on their website that India would play Pakistan in Bridgetown, Barbados on Sunday, April 15. Sorry guys—it was Ireland v. Bangladesh instead!

2. The long and winding road: Stretching the tournament to seven weeks meant by the time the final came along, the cricket world was fed-up, frustrated and bored.

3. Flop-show: Clamping down on local traditions and flavours at the ground and jacking up ticket rates meant local fans were turned off and the stadiums were pathetically empty.

4. The shocker right at the end, the fiasco of a final. The last three overs played in utter darkness just about summed it all up.

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