Pakistan middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq starred as the visitors dominated the first day’s play against Cricket Australia XI in a two-day practice match at the WACA in Perth. At the close of play, Pakistan were 386/7.
Shafiq led the Pakistan side in the absence of regular skipper Azhar Ali, who was not playing due to fever and throat infection.
Pakistan batsmen made the most of conditions on offer with the bat, after winning the toss, despite opener Abid Ali getting dismissed for a three-ball duck.
Abid’s fellow opener Imamul Haq and Shan Masood, who came in to bat at one-down, stitched 70-run partnership for the second wicket. Imam was dismissed after scoring 44 runs. Masood, though, carried on to score a half-century but was eventually dismissed after notching up 76 runs.
Haris Sohail (2) failed to impress with the bat once again which left question marks over his selection for the first Test against Australia. Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan also could only muster 22 runs.
At one stage Pakistan were 164/5 but at this stage Shafiq and Babar Azam, who came in to bat at number seven position, combined to form a free-flowing partnership of 117 runs. Babar, despite looking set for a ton, was dismissed after a brisk innings of 63 runs off just 66 balls. Although, Shafiq went on to score a well-compiled century and remained unbeaten on 101 at the close of play.
Tailender Kashif Bhatti also proved that he can be a handy batsman, if needed, with a quick fifty. He remained unbeaten on 56 runs off 47 balls.
For Australia, leg-spinner Lloyd Pope was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 5/100 in 24 overs. Tim Oakley and David Grant claimed one wicket each.
Cricket Australia XI
Jake Carder, Jayden Goodwin, Matthew Spoors, Jonathan Merlo, Jake Doran (c/wk), Bradley Hope, Daniel Drew, Tom O’Connell, Mitchell Perry, Tim Oakley, David Grant, Lloyd Pope
Abid Ali, Imamul Haq, Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq (c), Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Kashif Bhatti, Iftikhar Ahmed, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Muhammad Musa.