Exclusion of spectators irk David Warner
Australian opener David Warner felt “bizarre” playing in front of empty stands during the first T20I here but he is not complaining as it was the first time he was not “abused” by hostile English crowd.
Warner was at the receiving end of repeated crowd jeering during the World Cup last year following his role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. He got the same treatment in the subsequent Ashes series.
But there was none like that on Friday during the first T20I which Australia lost by two runs as there were no fans present at the Ageas Bowl. It was Australia’s first competitive match in nearly six months.
“It was the first time I’ve been here (England) and not got abuse. It was quite nice!” Warner said after the match.
Asked if the T20I felt like a game between arch-rivals England and Australia without fans in attendance, he said, “From a crowd perspective, no. It was a bit bizarre.
“You get that up and going (from the crowd). That’s why we love playing home and away. There’s home advantage and away advantage,” the 33-year-old left-handed batsman said. “But we’re just grateful to be back playing and want to make the most of that."
Warner said there were no excuses to offer for the defeat and his side were outplayed by England. “Towards the end they (England) bowled exceptionally well, they knocked us over quite comprehensively,” said Warner.
Talking about Australia’s failed chase, he said his side could not rotate the strike and hit boundaries in the middle overs. Chasing 163 for a win, Australia could only score 160 for 6 in their 20 overs.
Seemingly in control while chasing England’s 162/7, Australia were pegged back as they lost quick wickets and were left needing 15 off Tom Curran’s final over.
Marcus Stoinis missed the first ball, smashed a massive six off the second, but then missed the third. He was left needing five off the last ball but could scramble only two from a well-placed yorker as England celebrated an unlikely victory that puts them one-up in the three-match series.
“The bowlers really came good in the last eight overs. It’s always difficult coming in, under lights, pressure on, on a slow wicket,” said England captain Eoin Morgan.