• Like it or not, the only certainty in the ICC World Cup final was the uncertainty of what the greenish wicket was about to deliver when Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and instantly chose to bat.
• It's a shame the title of world champions can't be shared with England but the hurting New Zealand men should hold their heads high to return home to heroes' welcome.
Eat your heart out Game of Thrones script writers — here's hoping you were scribbling some notes — because that is how you close the final episode of any drama series.
Tied after 100 overs of regulation play, the Black Caps were again all even with England in the super-over showdown but then they came up agonisingly shy, 26-17, on a countback of boundaries in the ICC World Cup final at Lord's in London this morning. That was akin to deciding a champagne match in a football-mad host nation on sudden-death penalty kicks but there was room on the podium for just one cricket team of one-day international world champions. It's a tragedy that someone had to lose.
Can the New Zealanders provide an equally compelling sequel in another four years to etch their names on the trophy for the first time?
The emotions are too raw now to broach that subject with captain fantastic Kane Williamson and coach Gary Stead but that's too big an ask for any tournament. It's fair to assume the cast of Kiwis such as Ross Taylor, Tim Southee and perhaps Martin Guptill are unlikely to be in the mix.
For now, the Black Caps can do with the expertise of someone of the ilk of Central Districts Stags psychologist Gary Hermansson, of Palmerston North.
The final had only one certainty when Williamson won the toss and instantly chose to bat on a strip that had a greenish tinge — the uncertainty of what the wicket was about to deliver.
The rest of the plot was open to should they have done this or the other.
The Kiwis were 241-8 with opener Henry Nicholls (55 runs) and No 5 Tom Latham (47) providing the platform of another total that demanded patience and composure.
Was Guptill right in using up the review on his lbw verdict when he was trapped on the inside leg? It didn't seem like Nicholls was convinced when Guppy made the T-sign with his bat and fist to deny Ross Taylor an appeal later in the innings on an lbw wicket to Mark Wood for 15 runs. Like GoT lovable character Jon Snow, Guppy had committed murder but, unlike Snow, he couldn't save his own people.
Everything damningly suggested Guptill's fate was sealed from the word go. The semifinal runout to dismiss MS Dhoni was an aberration.
England's blueprint was to bowl a fifth-stump channel to Guptill and the struggling batsman chased the first delivery of the game at that very width outside the off stump from Chris Woakes who eventually got his scalp for 19 runs in taking 3-37.
Should Colin Munro have opened in the place of Guptill?
Just as the Kiwis had, the England support acts of No 5 Ben Stokes (84 not out) and No 6 Jos Buttler (59) helped the pre-match "hot favourites" to tie on 241 for the loss of all wickets to take it into the super over.
It is the toughest fight Stokes will ever have to face in a dark alleyway. Visibly mentally drained, the 28-year-old had carved five boundaries and two lusty sixes against his birth country.
With Trent Boult bowling a dot ball in the first delivery of the final over, the tattooed arms lofted a six and then claimed six more runs somewhat controversially when he ran a second single in the next delivery but his sliding bat, cutting the chalk, had deflected the ball over the fine-leg boundary.
Arms in the air, Stokes stood up immediately, pleading innocent while a frustrated Williamson emulated him in asking the umpires the question of shepherding his stumps. The officials rightly deemed it runs because Stokes didn't look back once to see where the ball was coming from and was flat on the ground. That is not to say the batsman isn't wicket savvy enough to know what he should do at the height of a toe-to-toe situation.
The red-head left hander had stepped up again with eight runs in the eliminator over to do the job with Buttler (7).
Jimmy Neesham stood up to five balls for an unbeaten 13, including a six, while Guptill was run out turning for a second run for a single in the only ball he had faced.
Again was Guppy the right man for the job?
Some may argue Williamson trying to find a gap between the fielders would have complemented Neesham better but if the intent was to identify another pinch hitter than perhaps Colin de Grandhomme or Nicholls should have padded up, even though Guptill was the only specialist batsman to have a strike rate of more than 100 per cent in the Kiwi innings.
But there were other passages of play that come under the what-if moments.
What if Boult had the presence of mind to toss the ball to Guptill when he had caught the ball at long off but instead stepped on the rope to cough up a six albeit, more importantly, gave Stokes another life.
The prudent will argue you can take it back to the toss where again having the coin roll your way didn't guarantee a bat-first victory.
No doubt, player of the tourney Williamson and Stead will be the first to put their hand up to say they didn't get it all right. Ditto England because rolling out a fresh Jofra Archer in the super over before an experienced Woakes was a huge gamble.
It was a game where the lesser names made cameo contributions. For instance, spinner Adil Rashid falling on his sword on the penultimate delivery in chasing a second run to ensure Stokes stayed alive.
It was ironic that the sky blue shirts rushed towards wicketkeeper Buttler for the runout — Guppy who had run someone out was now on the bitter end of euphoria — before realising Archer was isolated on the bowler's end to earn a belated group hug.
No, the beauty of this final script was the moments of imperfections (Jason Roy misfielding, Nicholls couldn't see the ball in the setting sun) that took millions of TV viewers around the world on a roller-coaster ride of emotions — so much so that the electronic score predictor would have been left in a confused mess.
It's a big call but the Rugby World Cup — or any other sporting world stage — has a gargantuan act to follow to dethrone the Cricket World Cup final, not just this year but in many tournaments to follow.
The blokes donning black caps should hold their heads up high in defying all sorts of odds to return home to a rousing heroes' welcome.
Hey, it's also still not too late for the Queen to extend an invitation to the curators to a royal afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace.