It was an unfamiliar sight that Australian cricket fans hope to see plenty more of this summer as Steve Smith and David Warner steered Australia to a lop-sided series victory against Sri Lanka in Brisbane.
Needing just 118, Smith (53 from 36) and Warner (60 from 41) combined in their first partnership for Australia on home soil since the 2017 Boxing Day Test to get the hosts home with 41 balls and nine wickets to spare.
It was a stunning display from the much-maligned pair, but there was hardly anyone there to witness it.
Just 11,986 fans showed up to the Gabba on Wednesday night, with the empty seats a glaring eye sore.
A number of cricket commentators and fans took to social media, questioning the wisdom of playing a midweek match in October, as well as the lack of promotion for the match and series on the whole.
Cricket Australia were forced to commence the summer of cricket earlier than usual this year because of a contractual agreement to play a one-day series in India in the middle of January when they’d normally be playing at home.
This is embarrassing as well as the MCG is hosting the third T20 match on Friday with little to no publicity here in Victoria.— Ⓜ️ichael ThoⓂ️pson (@ThommoMedia) October 30, 2019
Shocking crowd at the Gabba for Australia-Sri Lanka T20 tonight - lucky to be 10,000. Bizarre scheduling and little promotion. #AUSvSL— Travis Meyn (@travismeyn) October 30, 2019
Midweek games really are a no-no outside school holidays #AUSvSL— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) October 30, 2019
I was coaching out our junior club tonight 3/4 of the parents didn’t know it was on... there has been no signage no nothing— Bryce Parker (@bryce_parker26) October 30, 2019
Really the opposite of what should be done for mid October cricket, you know it’s bad when the large Sri Lankan population of Brisbane doesn’t turn up
100% agree with you mate! The GABBA tonight should be louder than it is.— Ⓜ️ichael ThoⓂ️pson (@ThommoMedia) October 30, 2019
They normally roll out the advertising for the summer of cricket and to buy tickets the day after the #AFLGF.
Would say the marketing for this series is non existent, neither seen or heard about outside twitter in my world. Crowd might symbolise that?— Geoff Cannon (@Research_Geoff) October 30, 2019
No one knows that the summer of cricket has started just like last year. Funny what happens when it's not on FTA.— TheStartingBloc Personal Journals (@thestartingbloc) October 30, 2019
Even the groundsmen appeared to forget the match was on, with a sprinkler bursting to life early in Sri Lanka’s innings.
“How does that happen?” Shane Warne said in commentary.
Aussies in fine form
Aaron Finch's side had crushed Sri Lanka by 134 runs in Adelaide's Twenty20 International series opener on Sunday, with the Gabba victory rendering Friday's final clash in Melbourne a dead rubber.
Billy Stanlake (2-23 from four overs) set the tone with a rapid spell on his home ground, while Pat Cummins, Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa all picked up two wickets.
Their joint effort meant Sri Lanka, who won the toss and chose to bat in the hope of avoiding a repeat of Sunday's horror show, were never in the game.
Not even the unplanned emergence of the Gabba outfield's pop-up sprinklers could halt Australia's charge though, Kusal Mendis tamely run-out in the second over before Stanlake's pace caused more headaches.
The second run-out of the night ended their innings after 19 overs, Cummins cleverly removing the stump with ball in hand after the bails had already been dislodged.
Smith and Warner then eased the hosts to victory after Finch's first-ball duck, Australia securing the win thanks to a wide.
Warner's knock followed his unbeaten game one century, while Smith just appreciated the chance to have a hit after not being required in Sunday's drubbing.
"It's exciting for us, exciting for the public as well just to watch him play T20 cricket," Stanlake said of Smith after his highest T20 international score on home soil.
"They don't get to see him do that too much; he's an absolute class player, we saw how good he was tonight again."
Stanlake made the most of his call-up with Mitchell Starc granted leave to celebrate his brother's wedding.
The towering quick was regularly clocked above 145kmh as he beat the bat with sheer pace, although opener Dhanushka Gunathilaka did manage an audacious scoop for six.
Sri Lankan assistant coach Rumesh Ratnayake said the team needed to fix their attitude ahead of Sunday's MCG clash.
"Disappointed is too nice a word I think ... I'm gutted really," the veteran of 23 Tests said.
"We're going to rectify it, revisit it in meetings and see what went wrong but it's intent which I feel was not there."