Strong cricket debut for Metricon

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Not even an ill-timed storm could prevent Metricon Stadium from making a strong cricket debut to push for more international fixtures in the foreseeable future.

Rain poured down in the hour before the Twenty20 between Australia and South Africa was scheduled to start on Saturday night, forcing a delay of almost two hours.

The 12,866 who braved the weather were treated to an entertaining 10 overs a side spectacle as the Proteas proved too good in a 21-run victory, despite the all-round efforts of Glenn Maxwell, who backed up 1-14 and two catches with a solo effort of 38 off 23 balls.

Before that, Metricon’s groundstaff earnt their wage by getting the arena ready for action soon after the downpour had stopped and uncovering a flat pitch that would allow 195 runs to be scored across the 20 overs.

A spokesman for Queensland Cricket confirmed 15,100 tickets had been sold and said the Coast was set for many more drawcard fixtures, starting with a three-year Big Bash League contract.

“We would have expected a few more in walk-up attendance if the weather had been kind,” he said.

“We can foresee that the market is strong here and there is a lot of positivity.

“This isn’t about trying out the Gold Coast; this is about a long-term investment.”

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