PERTH      -         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.

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.

 

Scorecard

PAKISTANIS 1ST INNINGS: 386/7d

AUSTRALIA XI 1ST INNINGS:

Jake Carder b Abbas 0

Jayden Goodwin c Rizwan b Musa 6

Mathew Spoors c Asad b Musa 58

Jonathan Merlo c Rizwan b Yasir 78

Jake Doran c Rizwan b Abbas 3

Bradley Hope not out 50

Daniel Drew c Asad b Kashif 15

Tom O’Connell lbw b Iftikhar 8

Mitchell Perry not out 22

EXTRAS: (b2, nb2, w2) 6

TOTAL: (7 wkts, 79.5 overs) 246

FOW: 1-2, 2-6, 3-128, 4-140, 5-165, 6-194, 7-209.

BOWLING: Abbas 14-5-22-2; Musa 14-6-32-2; Naseem 12-1-58-0; Kashif 22-2-72-1; Yasir 12-1-39-1; Iftikhar 5.5-0-21-1.

TOSS: Pakistanis

UMPIRES: Nathan Johnstone, Claire Polosak

MATCH REFEREE: Bob Stratford