PERTH: Teenage leg-spinner Lloyd Pope snared five wickets but veteran batsman and stand-in skipper Asad Shafiq was able to restore order for the visiting Pakistan at the start of the two-day warm-up match at the WACA Ground here in Perth on Friday.
Pakistan finished day one at 386-7 from 90 overs in their first innings, with Asad scoring an unbeaten 101 and Shan Masood (76), Babar Azam (63), Kashif Bhatti (56 not out) and Imam ul-Haq (44) also chipping in with handy scores.
But it was a different story early as Pope weaved his magic for a baby-faced Cricket Australia XI outfit that featured just five players with first-class experience.
Pakistan were struggling at 80-3 and then at 164-5 on a day where the mercury edged past 38 degrees.
Fringe opener Abid Ali fell for a duck in just the second over of the day denting his hopes of a debut at the Gabba on Thursday, and Pakistan were looking shaky when Pope snared the scalps of Imam and Haris Sohail (2) shortly before lunch.
However, the trio of Shan, Babar, and Asad helped drag Pakistan out of trouble, but the 19-year-old Pope continued to pick up wickets at regular intervals.
Pakistan T20 captain Babar, who scored 157 against the powerful Australia ‘A’ side earlier in the week at Perth Stadium, was on track for another big score before becoming Pope’s fourth victim.
But Asad, who scored 119 against Australia ‘A’, was able to keep Pope at bay while striking 10 boundaries during his 172-ball knock.
Pope burst onto the scene as an 18-year-old last year when he snared 7-87 in just his second first-class game.
The flame-haired spinner hasn’t played a Shield game this summer, but his performance against Pakistan is sure to put him back in the selection mix for South Australia.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Pope said after claiming five wickets for 100 runs from 24 overs on Friday.
Asad shows class with disciplined century. “Five-for in any format against anyone is a bowler’s dream. I was very privileged and happy to get it today, especially on a fast bowlers’ track. It’s nice it turned a little bit, and there were some good catches from the boys.”
Pakistan are using the match as their final warm-up ahead of the first Test against Australia, starting at the Gabba in Brisbane from Thursday.
PAKISTAN (1st Innings):
Imam-ul-Haq c Perry b Pope 44
Abid Ali c Doran b Grant 0
Shan Masood c Pope b Oakley 76
Haris Sohail c Goodwin b Pope 2
Mohammad Rizwan c Spoors b Pope 22
Asad Shafiq not out 101
Babar Azam c Hope b Pope 63
Iftikhar Ahmed c Doran b Pope 5 Kashif Bhatti not out 56
EXTRAS (LB-16, W-1) 17
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 90 overs) 386 FALL OF WKTS: 1-2, 2-72, 3-80, 4-120, 5-164, 6-281, 7-291. TO BAT: Azhar Ali, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Nasim Shah, Mohammad Musa Khan.
BOWLING (to-date): Perry 13-3-48-0; Grant 14-2-67-1 (1w); Hope 10-2-32-0; Oakley 13-4-44-1; Merlo 7-0-28-0; Pope 24-3-100-5; O’Connell 8-0-48-0; Drew 1-0-3-0.
CRICKET AUSTRALIA XI: J.R. Doran, J.M. Carder, M. Spoors, J.A. Merlo, J. Goodwin, B.M. Hope D.R. Drew, T.L. O’Connell, M. Perry, T. Oakley, D.M.K. Grant, L. Pope. NOTE: 16 players per side (11 batting, 11 fielding). UMPIRES: N.R. Johnstone and C.A. Polosak. MATCH REFEREE: R.W. Stratford.
Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2019