VIDEO: Match highlights from Ireland’s nerve wracking win over Zimbabwe

Barny 8/03/2015
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Ireland edged closer to the Cricket World Cup quarter-finals after narrowly beating Zimbabwe by five runs in Hobart on Saturday.









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#CWC15 Diary: New Zealand’s battles with fruit flies

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Besides fighting for the Cricket World Cup title New Zealand are fending off fruit flies.

Nothing really bothers the Kiwis much. They are one of the nicest and most laid-back people you can come across.

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It’s the only country where carry-on bags are not subjected to x-ray checks for domestic flights, and the immigration officer asked me just one question before ushering me into his country.

And yet, it took me more time to get out of the Auckland airport then from Dubai at the busiest of times.

That’s because New Zealand will tolerate just about anything, except for fruit flies.

You get a feeling that you can smuggle in kilos of gold, as long as you declare any organic food item that you may have packed alongside it. Failure to declare a single fruit is a hefty NZD400 (Dh1,082).

So everyone has to go through two queues – one for immigration, the other for customs, who have a stringent check for anything organic.

The customs officer will ask you several questions, before all your bags are passed through special scanners.

I write this because as we were coming in to Eden Park yesterday for the Pakistan-South Africa match, there were hundred of volunteers distributing pamphlets on ‘What You Need to Know’ about the ‘Queensland fruit fly found in Grey Lynn, Auckland’.

Not just that, there are several posters in the vicinity of the stadium in Mount Eden, an area adjacent to Grey Lynn.

Spectators are urged to throw anything edible into garbage bins that have covers on them and no fruit or vegetable is being allowed to move outside a 1.5-kilometer area around the place where the abhorring pest was first discovered.

A toll-free number has been set up and residents have been urged to call the Ministry for Primary Industries the moment one is seen.

New Zealand’s concerns with fruit flies are understandable, as they can damage the native fruit and vegetable crops.

Agriculture and related industries like dairy and processed food, form a majority of the country’s NZD61.7bn exports.

Unusual reason to be a fan

While travelling for the match on an Auckland train yesterday, I overheard one of the strangest reasons you can ever have to be a fan of any team.

So, there were a group of Proteas fans in the compartment I was travelling in. They were easy to point out – they were wearing the team T-shirt, carrying the South African flag and even had it painted all over their faces.

On one of the stations, in walked a Maori gentleman, also wearing a South African T-shirt. That earned him several curious glances, before one of the Proteas fans could not resist and asked him how come he was supporting South Africa for the match.

Pat came the reply: “Because they don’t play rugby in Pakistan and they do in South Africa!”

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VIDEO: Clarke hails Sangakkara as 'one of the greatest'

Barny 7/03/2015
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Ahead of their ICC Cricket World Cup showdown against Sri Lanka, Australia captain Michael Clarke hails opponent Kumar Sangakkara as one of the greatest players to have played the game.









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