Naseem Shah went wicketless but fellow teenager Muhammad Musa impressed as Pakistan’s final warm-up clash against a Cricket Australia XI ended in a draw in Perth.
After a century from stand-in skipper Asad Shafiq had helped Pakistan post 386-7 in the first innings, their bowling unit was frustrated for large parts as the hosts racked up 246-7 in reply.
Experienced stalwart Mohammad Abbas gave Pakistan the perfect start with the ball on Day Two with the seamer dismissing CA XI opener Jake Cardner for a duck. 19-year-old pacer Muhammad Musa Khan then made his mark with the teenager finding Jayden Goodwin’s outside edge to leave the hosts reeling at 6-2.
However, the visitors were unable to make the most of that early opening with Matthew Spoors and Jonathan Merlo putting together a frustrating 122-run stand for the third wicket.
Both the batsmen registered their respective half-centuries before Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah broke the stubborn partnership. Musa then dismissed Spoors to claim his second wicket of the day but a gritty half-century from Bradley Hope further frustrated the visitors before both captains shook hands on a draw.
Pakistan's raw pace attack have been given a wake-up call ahead of the Test series against Australia after struggling to fire against a youth-laden Cricket Australia XI outfit. https://t.co/ciZUhFosYX pic.twitter.com/HezbEP5oIK— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 16, 2019
This was Pakistan’s final warm-up game before they take on hosts Australia in the first of the two Tests in Brisbane on Thursday. They had earlier put up a dominant batting and bowling display in a drawn match against a strong Australia A side containing many Test regulars.
In that practice match, Asad Shafiq and star batsman Babar Azam had cracked excellent tons for Pakistan while a five-wicket haul by veteran pacer Imran Khan had seen them bowl out for the hosts for just 122 runs in their first innings.
The worrying aspect for Pakistan, however, is that the Cricket Australia XI they faced most recently had only five players with any first-class experience. In the upcoming series, they will be up against a formidable Australian outfit who have Steve Smith firing on all cylinders.
Tim Paine and his men retained the Ashes urn in their most recent Test exploits and they will be looking to make a big statement on home soil against a Pakistan side which have lately struggled in the format.
The two-Test series will be the first red-ball assignment for Misbah-ul-Haq ever since he took over as the head coach and chief selector of the Pakistan men’s team.
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