DUBAI - Australia's second spinner, Jon Holland, grabbed five wickets in the drawn four-day match in Dubai on Tuesday, sending a warning to Pakistan for the two-match Test series. Pakistan 'A,' who had been facing an innings defeat, salvaged a draw by reaching the close on 261-7 in their second innings at the ICC academy.

Holland, a 31-year-old left-armer, followed off-spinner Nathan Lyon's eight wickets in the first innings with 5-79. The pair will be lead Australia's spin attack in the first Test starting in Dubai on Sunday. The second Test is in Abu Dhabi from October 16.

Australia had declared their first innings at the overnight score of 494-4 with Travis Head unbeaten on 90, a lead of 216. When Pakistan A batted again, Lyon took 1-54 to finish with nine wicket in the match but Holland -- who played last of his two Tests in Sri Lanka in 2016 - took regular wickets.

Skipper Asad Shafiq -- a regular Test batsman for Pakistan - fought hard a solid knock of 69, adding 84 for the third wicket with Abid Ali, who followed a first-innings 85 with 52.  When Shafiq was caught behind by Tim Paine off Holland, Pakistan were on 213 for four and, even though Holland took three more wickets, held on for the draw. Iftikhar Ahmed, who played a Test in England two years ago, made 45 and opener Shan Masood scored 41.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s red-ball specialist Shafiq might be long way away from filling the shoes of Pakistan legend Younus Khan, the country’s highest run-getter in Tests, but is not bogged down by the expectations.

“Of course, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan were legendary players and served the nation for many years and it is true that it will not be easy for any other player to match their performances for the team,” Shafiq told ahead of the Australia series.

“As far as the upcoming Test series is concerned, I don’t think Azhar and I will be under any pressure, but we do recognise that we have an added responsibility on our shoulders. It will be up to us to put into practice all that we have learnt from the two great players and help Pakistan in this series,” he said.

Talking about how Pakistan will be able bounce back after a poor Asia Cup 2018 just a week ago, the 32-year-old the whole team has moved on from the Asia cup debacle and are looking forwards for the Tests against Australia.

“Victory and defeat are part of any sportsman’s lot and sometimes things go in your favour and at other times everything seems to be going against you. The disappointment of the Asia Cup is behind us now, and the whole attention has now shifted to the Test series which we will play against Australia. What we know is that we have a very good record against them in the UAE where we have beaten them before and we intend to work on the goal of preserving that record,” he said.

Spin is expected to play a big role in the series, with the legspinning duo of Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan on one side and Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar and Jon Holland on the other and Shafiq believes it will be an even contest.

“Our main strength is in the spin bowling department with some excellent bowlers in our line-up, but then we must also realise that Australia have some very fine spinners in their side too. As a batting side, we will work towards handling their spinners in the best way possible knowing full well that if we can do our job, we also have some excellent spinners in our side who know these conditions really well and will cause difficulties for the opposition,” he added.





Shan Masood c S Marsh b Holland 41

Sami Aslam c Head b Neser 12

Abid Ali c Labuschagne b Lyon 52

Asad Shafiq c Paine b Holland 69

Iftikhar Ahmed st Paine b Holland 45

Usman Salahuddin c Finch b Holland 4

Saad Ali c Paine b Holland 5

M Rizwan not out 8

Wahab Riaz not out 2

EXTRAS: (b 12, lb 11) 23

TOTAL: (7 wkts, 85 overs) 261

FOW: 1-53, 2-55, 3-139, 4-213, 5-235, 6-248, 7-257.

BOWLING: MA Starc 10-2-34-0, N Lyon 20-1-54-1, M Neser 12-2-30-1, J Holland 25-6-79-5, M Marsh 10-1-19-0, M Labuschagne 7-0-20-0, T Head 1-0-2-0.

TOSS: Pakistan A

UMPIRES: Shozab Raza, Ahsan Raza