• Eight nations arrived in England and Wales to scramble to the throne of ODI supremacy but only two, England and New Zealand, have been left standing before the dust finally settles at Lord's on Monday.
• Trying to tame wickets, that just refused to play ball, has been challenging but whoever grasps the script correctly will become the 2019 ICC World Cup champions although cricket will be the winner.
Move over girls who follow the Netball World Cup at Liverpool because this star-studded all-boys cast set for the stage at Lord's in London at the weekend requires a testosterone-fuelled touch on the TV remote control.
Oh don't worry, this ICC World Cup live theatre has enough bromance to make grown women cry — just ask the Indians and Ockers after their shock exits from the ODI cricket semifinals in England.
But there's violence — real stuff — with blood already spilled on hallowed turf at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham, where the Poms bashed the Aussies by eight wickets today.
It was an uppercut delivery through the helmet grill of Australia batsman Alex Carey that would have drawn rousing applause from England allrounder Ben Stokes.
You could be forgiven for mistaking the drama as episodes of Game of Thrones (GoT).
How could you not when a protagonist from the England team goes by the name of Jofra Archer although the bloke media have dubbed the "Firestarter" was born in Barbados and made his debut for his adopted country in April.
"All batsmen buy 2 helmets cause went [sic] we meet they will be in use ... ," the 24-year-old right-arm fast bowler had tweeted if anyone had doubts about his intentions going into the cup semifinal to finish with 19 tourney scalps.
"Umpire you smoking a spliff from zac? Da ain out," he had added later when umpire Kumar Dharmasena wrongly adjudged batsman Jason Roy out for 85 runs.
Matt Henry's gong but several Kiwi heroes in cup of joy
Black Caps must keep the faith despite the lean pickings
Archer, who is likened to former West Indian rib tickler Michael Holding dubbed the "Whispering Death", has offered a timely reminder to New Zealand opening batsmen Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls to ensure their chins are tucked away safely.
Akin to GoT, albeit one kingdom fewer, eight nations arrived in England and Wales but only two have been left standing in trying to tame wickets that just refused to play ball, as it were. The 20m long by 3m wide plots, used between 40 days of cup action, have offered more twists and turns than any Hollywood or Bollywood blockbusters.
Frankly the "big baddies" are gone. No Ockers means whoever clambers to the ODI throne cricket-dom will be the winner as neither England nor New Zealand have ever won it. Had Australia prevailed scribes would have generated a different genre of stories and the keyboard warriors would have stumbled over each other on social media platforms to liberally spray vitriol.
In a summer theatre where "knocking off the bastards" is juxtaposed with diplomacy that can help US President Donald Trump make countless friends, there had been skulduggery even before the tourney started on May 30. Censors could be forgiven for slapping an R18 classification, Roy's expletives aside.
The Aussies had been caught with their hands in their undies, fishing for sandpaper during a tour of South Africa to make the ball behave uncharacteristically.
The irony is not even the myth of winning the toss and electing to pad up first could prevent a flogging of the Aussies.
The Kiwis will be out to prove that good guys can come first when the final starts at 10pm on Sunday.
Like any production soliciting success at the box office, protagonists are imperative. The Gary Stead-coached New Zealand have captain Kane Williamson, batsman Ross Taylor and bowler Trent Boult.
The Poms have skipper Eoin Morgan, Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root in the batting department and the likes of Archer and Chris Woakes in their bowling stocks.
But so are supporting acts, even a villain or two who surprise script writers with the rapport they build with the audience in facets of play no one could have anticipated before the tourney began.
Enter Guptill the run-out merchant who can't buy a run right now when it matters or Jimmy Neesham with his venus fly trap fingers at point to add to the turning points in the Black Caps' stunning 18-run victory over India.
Just as spinner Mitchell Santner had stepped up in the semifinal so had Adil Rashid with his 3-54, albeit a tad expensive, for England.
The eye-twitching ticket touts will be recycling passes at up to $18,000, reportedly 25 times their face value, but why feed that habit. If the price tag of avocados this winter is anything to go by then there's proof the public is fast coming to grips with the economic ritual of supply and demand — don't buy it and unscrupulous scalpers will get lost in the crowd.
There's always a danger the final episode, just as it did in GoT, can become an anticlimax but those who prevail will beg to differ because winning ugly is just as palatable.
Punters backing Aussies are in the Poms' corner with the bookies as $1.28 favourites. The Kiwis ($3.50) already have a legion of India fans who had presumptuously bought tickets.