Harris-Bancroft missed out on statement runs against Pakistan

Marcus Harris and Cameron Bancroft were competing for a Test opener position that would soon be available. Unfortunately, both of them got out after getting off to good starts while playing for the Prime Minister’s XI.

Image Showing Harris-Bancroft missed out on statement runs against Pakistan

The possible openers for Australia haven’t made a significant impact against Pakistan in the competition to fill the gap left by the retiring David Warner.

Playing for the Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval on Thursday, Marcus Harris scored 49, and Cameron Bancroft scored 53. They both had good beginnings but couldn’t continue and guide their team to a higher score, ending day two at 2-149.

They are responding to Pakistan’s declared score of 9-391, led by captain Shan Masood’s outstanding unbeaten 201. This performance has raised expectations that Pakistan might be able to compete well against Australia in the upcoming NRMA Test series.

Matt Renshaw, who is also in the running to fill Warner’s soon-to-be-vacant position after the veteran’s retirement post the series against Pakistan, scored an unbeaten 18. He will aim to score more runs on Friday.

Harris, who has participated in 14 Tests and often serves as a backup batter for the Australian team, showcased some elegant cut shots and lofted drives before making a mistake and losing his wicket.

The left-handed batsman chipped a shot off spinner Abrar Ahmed straight to mid-on just when it looked like he was set for a high score.

Bancroft came into the game with a recent impressive performance in Sheffield Shield, scoring 512 runs at an average of 57. However, he appeared a bit uncertain on his way to scoring 53.

A fantastic delivery from Pakistan’s fast bowler Khurram Shahzad caught him right in front of the wickets, resulting in a clear lbw (leg before wicket) dismissal. This left the Prime Minister’s side at 2-112.

Renshaw was joined by all-rounder Cameron Green, who is working hard to earn his place back in the Australian team after losing it to Mitchell Marsh in the Test side.

He might also be considered as a replacement for the longstanding opener Warner after Warner’s retirement in January, especially if Marsh, Marnus Labuschagne, or Travis Head are shifted up the batting order to open.

Green played defensively, focusing on solid defense rather than going for aggressive shots, and he will start the next session with a score of 19 not out.

The Prime Minister’s XI is not up against the tourists’ main bowling lineup, as Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Mohammad Wasim are all taking a break for the tour game.

Pakistan’s captain, Shan Masood, seemed determined and showed minimal emotion when he reached his double-century. This set the tone for his team in his first innings since becoming the captain.

South Australia’s fast bowler, Jordan Buckingham, was the top performer among the Prime Minister’s XI bowlers, taking 5 wickets for 80 runs. He completed his impressive haul with a sharp catch from Renshaw at leg-gully to dismiss Hamza for eight runs.

NRMA Insurance Test series vs Pakistan

Prime Minister’s XI v Pakistan XI- December 6-9 Manuka Oval (10.30 am AEDT)

First Test- December 14-18 Perth Stadium (1.20 pm AEDT)

Second Test- December 26-30 MCG (10.30 am AEDT)

Third Test- January 3-7 SCG (10.30 am AEDT)

Australia squad

In the first Test, the selected players for Australia are Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, and David Warner.

Pakistan squad

The players selected for the team in the first Test are Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.