Aussies in world of pain after T20 trouncing
Australia has slumped to a new low after suffering a 21-run loss to South Africa in a rain-affected Twenty20 on the Gold Coast.
International cricket's debut at Metricon Stadium was reduced to a 10-over match, but a complete washout would have saved Australia from another embarrassment.
Despite restricting South Africa to a seemingly modest total of 6-108 after winning the toss, Australia's woeful batting was once again exposed as it limped to 7-87.
SUMMER OF PAIN
Australia is facing a summer of disappointment after losing three of four limited overs matches to South Africa.
With Steve Smith, Dave Warner and Cameron Bancroft suspended for ball-tampering, Australia's batting depth has been tested, and so far it has failed.
A tour of the UAE resulted in Test and T20 series losses to Pakistan before Australia lost the recent three-match one-day series to South Africa 2-1.
There was little on the line for South Africa in the one-off fixture but the Proteas ensured they will head home on a high.
Australia now faces the daunting task of a three-match T20 series against No.2 ranked India followed by four Tests.
This was about as bad a batting performance as you will see.
If not for Glenn Maxwell (38), Australia may have even been bowled out inside 10 overs.
Captain Aaron Finch was gifted a life on five before being bowled for seven, Chris Lynn (14) played and missed too many times, Darcy Short was rolled for a golden duck and Ben McDermott (4) gave his wicket away.
Australia's line-up is packed with power hitters but is lacking cricket brains and adaptability.
Australia's star bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon are playing in the Sheffield Shield to prepare for the upcoming Test series against India.
But if this is the best of the rest then Australia could be in for a long period of pain as it attempts to become a world force again.
Australia's bowling attack was about as intimidating as a toddler with a tennis ball.Jason Behrendorff went for 15 in his first over and Nathan Coulter-Nile was sent for 14.
Big Billy Stanlake bowled close to 150 kmh but his mediocre domestic and international record doesn't strike fear into his opponents' minds.
It was Australia's part-time spinners that swung momentum after the quicks were pummelled before Andrew Tye (2-18) closed out the innings superbly.
BIG BASH BULLY
Chris Lynn has developed a reputation for being a Big Bash bully.
But he has played 19 limited overs matches for Australia and failed to reach 50.
He never looked comfortable last night and was clean bowled by a terrific Chris Morris yorker for 14.
WEATHER COSTS THE COAST
The Gold Coast has long been a graveyard for sporting failures and Cricket Australia may be wondering whether the region is cursed after last night's Twenty20 experiment was drenched.
Australia's one-off fixture against South Africa was the Gold Coast's first taste of international cricket.
The stage was set for a memorable night at the stunning Metricon Stadium.
A crowd of 20,000 was predicted and a flat wicket produced a batsman's paradise.
But a typical southeast Queensland summer storm drenched the Carrara venue with 18mm of rain just 45 minutes before the first ball was scheduled. Eventually, a 10-10 match was declared and about 12,000 fans were rewarded after braving the weather and two-hour delay.
There was nothing anyone could do about this unfortunate situation, but rain-affected cricket matches do little to excite those flirting with the game.
The Gold Coast will host three Big Bash League matches this summer as Cricket Australia looks to move in on territory occupied in the winter by the AFL's Suns and NRL's Titans.
The Gold Coast is a fickle market for sport. It loves a winner and is quick to abandon a loser.
Cricket Australia needed a memorable event to kick-start its foray into a region where so many others have failed before. A washout would have been a disaster and while a 10-10 was far from ideal, it gave fans a glimpse of what to expect over the next three summers.