Cricket world stunned by 'horrible' scenes in Australia's T20 victory

Australia's cricket players, pictured here in front of a paltry crowd at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.
Australia beat the West Indies in front of a paltry cricket crowd at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. Image: Getty

Cricket fans and commentators have expressed their disappointment at the paltry crowd that turned up to watch Australia's T20 clash with the West Indies on the Gold Coast on Wednesday night.

Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc managed to squeeze Australia to a thrilling three-wicket victory with one ball to spare in the T20 international at Metricon Stadium.

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Australia needed 11 to win from Sheldon Cottrell's final over, with wicketkeeper-batsman Wade (39 not out off 29 balls) dropped by Raymon Reifer with seven still needed.

Kyle Mayers then failed to cling on to another chance in the deep to get rid of Starc off the fourth ball, before the paceman took advantage of his reprieve to get the hosts across the line with two off the penultimate delivery.

Despite the thrilling finish, not many people were on hand to witness it.

Only a few thousand spectators showed up to watch the match in person at Metricon Stadium, with TV viewers treated to scenes of vastly empty seats around the ground.

According to reports, only one section of the grandstand was open, with about 5000 people crammed into it.

The crowd, pictured here at Metricon Stadium for Australia's clash with West Indies.
The crowd at Metricon Stadium for Australia's clash with West Indies was minimal. (Photo by Matt Roberts - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

The bizarre scenes sparked some concerns amongst fans just weeks out from the T20 World Cup.

"Where is the crowd in Australia?" the Caribbean Cricket podcast tweeted.

Another fan wrote: "Can't be giving Gold Coast any international sporting fixtures in cricket after this crowd turnout.

"Give it to another deserving city where the crowds will turn out. Reckon there would be barely 3,000 at the ground."

While a third added: "Nothing says the summer of international cricket is here like playing a midweek T20 against the Windies in front of a crowd of 37 on the Gold Coast."

Others described it as 'horrible' and 'shocking to see'.

Aaron Finch stars after dropping down batting order

Australia captain Aaron Finch (58 off 53 balls) had pushed himself down the order to No.4 to give all-rounder Cameron Green a crack at opening the innings where he had been so successful on the recent T20 tour of India.

But chasing the West Indies' total of 9-145, Australia were in dire trouble at 5-58 in just the eighth over.

But Finch found a willing ally in Wade, with the duo combining for a 69-run sixth-wicket stand against the gallant visitors.

Australian paceman Pat Cummins said the side "bowled really well but probably weren't as clinical as we would have liked with the bat."

"I think it is great that someone like Matty Wade at No.7 has got us home like he has quite a few times but ideally those kind of chases you do a bit easier," he said.

Metricon Stadium, pictured here during game one of the T20 International series between Australia and the West Indies.
A general view of game one of the T20 International series between Australia and the West Indies. (Photo by Matt Roberts - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

"(Wade) has really just really taken that mantle as a finisher. He's nailed that spot.

"I thought (Finch) was fantastic with that old, wise head and just got the job done. Green batted really well in India... and I wouldn't be surprised if you see a couple of combinations heading into the World Cup."

Finch had said pre-match that he didn't think Green would be a late inclusion in the already-named squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, but his own move down the order won't stop that speculation.

Finch was at the crease early after David Warner and Mitch Marsh departed in Cottrell's opening over.

The Australian skipper had spoken of his desire for his team to be over-aggressive rather than cautious in their approach. He said it was "high risk, high reward".

West Indies leg-spinner Yannic Cariah (1-15 off four) was superb on debut, while paceman Alzarri Joseph (2-17 off four) said the performance of the side was heartening.

"Everyone is in a good head space and confident with the way we have been preparing. We really pushed Australia," he said.

with AAP

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