2015 Cricket World Cup: Discussion thread

So we are down to the two host teams to battle it out for the trophy on the grounds of one of them. Despite the advantage that playing in Melbourne gives the Australians, I am sticking with my original pick of New Zealand to win the game. They just strike me as a well-balanced, complete team. Both teams have good batting depth, explosive hitters, and excellent fast bowlers. They both field well. NZ has the edge in a wily and experienced spinner in Daniel Vettori. If they can keep their cool the way the did in that exciting semi-final game against South Africa, they should be able to defeat Australia. It is clear from my time here in Auckland that there is nothing that New Zealanders would like better than defeating their arch rivals in the final.
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The difficult task of selecting a cricket team

So here I am in Auckland awaiting the start of the first semi-final game between New Zealand and South Africa due to start in four hours time. I will be watching it on TV instead of going to the nearby Eden Park grounds. If Sri Lanka had beaten South Africa and made it to this game I would have tried to get tickets even though it would have been very hard. The four semi-finalists (New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and India) are not surprises and all the games should be close ones.
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I’m a Believer

This song, written by Neil Diamond and performed by The Monkees was their best one, I thought. It is the ideal song, at least the title phrase, for those occasions when one is cheering for one’s preferred team, especially when it is the underdog and fighting back. I don’t go to any sporting events so don’t know if it is actually used for that purpose.
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Looks like Sri Lanka picked a bad day to play sports …

The same day that Sri Lanka received a thumping at the hands of South Africa in the World Cup cricket tournament, they also suffered a shock defeat to Bhutan in a qualifying game for the 2018 football World Cup. Bhutan is ranked as the worst of 209 teams in FIFA and needless to say they are thrilled at winning the two games 1-0 and 2-1.
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The lead-violent crime connection and Kevin Drum

Kevin Drum has done some excellent writing about the case for a causal relationship between the amount of lead in our environment and violent crime, bringing to greater public awareness research done by Rick Nevin and others. I wrote about his article for Mother Jones on this topic last year and he now has a follow-up article looking at more research by Nevin, a leading proponent of the lead-violent crime linkage, that extends that argument to rural areas, saying that rural crime skyrocketed in the late 1800s because lead paint wasn’t readily available before 1880.
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