The Heavy Ball

This, that and the other. Mostly the other

Highs and Lows

Straussy, Dhoni, Swanny (and a singing lady)

... are just some of the protagonists who feature in our look back at the Champions Trophy so far

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Mohammad Asif celebrates Cameron White's wicket, Australia v Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy, Group A, Centurion, September 30, 2009
Asif: the albatross has landed © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: ICC Champions Trophy

The Prurient Philosopher of the Fortnight
Gary Kirsten turned into a blend of John Buchanan and Henry Miller and slipped his wards a dossier that exhorted them to score if they wanted to score. Very zen. As the collected works of Donna Summer blared in the background (or something).

The Batman Villain of the Fortnight
Andrew Strauss, with a little nudge from the ghost of The Oval 2008, gave chivalry a good name by calling Angelo Mathews back to the crease after he was run out following a collision with Graham Onions. Especially admirable considering Mathews would have been miles short even if there had been no collision. Then, realising his conduct was unbecoming of a real man, Strauss whipped a Two-Face mask from his pocket and refused a cramping Graeme Smith a runner in the closing stages of a match. Fitting-closure fan Daniel Vettori, meanwhile, chose to turn an unshaven cheek by recalling Paul Collingwood (the unyielding captain at the centre of that Oval saga) after he was run out off a ball he thought was dead.

The Bowler of the Fortnight
Rana Naved-ul Hasan, who in the closing stages of Pakistan's game against Australia bowled 20 excruciatingly well-pitched yorkers, legcutters, inswingers, slower ones and other allsorts in a row, for the cost of one run.

The Decoy Bowler of the Fortnight
Oh look, it's MS Dhoni serving up his swingy dibbly dobblies. How entrancing. Almost enough to make us forget India have been wretched. Not.

The Express-Elevator Riders of the Fortnight
England, who transformed themselves from dumpster-diving ODI trailer-trash to caviar-chugging jet set so rapidly it made Cinderella dizzy.

The Flashback of the Fortnight
What a difference a year doesn't make. To watch South Africa's batsmen against Ajantha Mendis in the first game was to be reminded of how India's floundered in his debut series. Graeme Smith was cleaned up by Mendis' first ball, Jacques Kallis was beaten good and proper on the first delivery he faced from Mendis but survived, only to soon spoon one to mid-off, and JP Duminy was done for by another that snuck through the gate first up.

The Flashback of the Fortnight II
What a difference two years doesn't make. Mohammad Asif came back, fresh off a drugs test even, all ambling menace, cursive wristwork and dark magic, to take two wickets in an over against Australia.

The Entertainer of the Fortnight
The lady who leads the singing of the teams' anthems, switching skillfully between languages, like a soul diva sponsored by Rapidex.

The Entertainer of the Fortnight II
Graeme Swann, England cricket's one-man Beavis-and-Butthead Appreciation Society, whose Twitter feed revealed, among other things, that the above lady was actually calling on John, not God, to save England's queen before their game against Sri Lanka. Other revelations: that the Centurion car park has spots demarcated for players, coach and "ass coach", and that Jimmy (Anderson) was making him (Swann) "happier than a Frenchman in a brothel". Plus, Tim Bresnan-baiting, tales of "Predictive Tex, the dyslexic superhero", poop jokes and lots more unprintable jollies.

The Unworthy West Indian of the Fortnight
Tino Best, back in the fold from the ICL, strutted his stuff in the game against Pakistan, bowling in the mid-to-high 140s. And then, just when he was bringing a tear to the eyes of those put in mind of the quartets of the 80s, he bowled a beamer at Umar Akmal… and proceeded to apologise. For shame, Tino.

The Dead Horse of the Fortnight
The c word - amazingly still doing sterling, if inaccurate, service in the description of South African defeats.

That 70s Show of the Fortnight
The pitch invasion at the end of the India-Pakistan game, by dozens of flag-bearing Pakistan supporters.

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