Shan Masood hits unbeaten 156 as Pakistan pile up 324/6 in 4-day match against PM XI
By News Desk
December 6, 2023 10:16 AM
Pakistan cricket captain Shan Masood led from the front as his team batted first on the first day of four-day match against Prime Minister’s Xi in Australian capital Canberra on Wednesday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Though the tourists were not in a solid position at the start but captain Shan Masood stayed composed and helped his team amass 324 runs for the loss of six wickets on the first day. The skipper anchored the Pakistani innings with an unbeaten 156 studded with 15 boundaries and one towering six.
Batting first after winning the toss, Pakistan quickly lost opener Imam-ul-Haq for nine. Shan Masood built the innings with Abdullah Shafique who also caught off the bowling of Steketee after scoring 38.
Jordaqm Buckingham claimed the prime scalp of Babar Azam (40) who along with his captain shared a partnership of 92 runs. Saud Shakeel scored 13, Sarfaraz Ahmad 41 and Ameen Faheem 17.
After winning the toss and opting to bat against a Prime Minister's XI, he came to the crease when opener Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed for nine.
Masood batted for the rest of the day, smashing 13 fours and a six to steer Pakistan to 324-6 at stumps on the opening day of the four-day fixture.
Sarfaraz Ahmed made 41 and star batter Babar Azam, who stood down as captain in all formats of the game after their disastrous one-day World Cup, hit 40.
Australia's bowlers laboured on a flat pitch at Manuka Oval with speedster Jordan Buckingham the pick with 3-63.
All-rounder Cameron Green, who has been sidelined from the Test side by Mitchell Marsh, did not turn his arm.
It proved a long day in the field for aspiring Australian Test openers Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw, who are vying to replace David Warner when he retires from the longer format after the Pakistan series.
The visitors meet Australia in three Tests -- in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney -- from December 14.
Mitchell Johnson sacked from commentary role
Former Australia teammates David Warner and Mitchell Johnson are currently embroiled in a bitter controversy. Johnson wrote in his column that the selection of Warner for the Test series against Pakistan was because of the reason that he was retiring after the series and not because of his form.
The former Australia pacer also insisted that chief selector George Bailey was too close to the players and that was affecting his selection process.
Following the controversy, the two former teammates were going to come face-to-face during the first Test in Pakistan but it looks like that is not going to happen anymore.
Earlier, Johnson said that he would be part of the Triple M commentary team for the Test series. However, the confirmed list of commentators released by the company on Tuesday did not include his name. It had names of legends like Merv Hughes, Wasim Akram and Mark Taylor.
Two days after he attacked former teammate and current Australia opener David Warner, former pacer Mitchell Johnson revealed the reason behind his tirade.
Johnson, who lashed out at the Aussie opener, while also reigniting the ball-tampering controversy, claimed that Warner doesn't deserve a "hero's sendoff" referring to the Pakistan series being his last.
The 42-year-old had also taken shots at Australia chief selector Geroge Bailey for persisting with Warner despite his poor outings recently.
Johnson revealed that Warner texted him earlier this year after he wrote a column on the southpaw's wife, Candice, defending her husband's place in the team.
While he did not divulge much into the details of Warner's "quite personal" text message, Johnson admitted that it was one of reasons, along with the ball-tampering scandal, behind his column of the West Australian.
"I got a message from Dave, which was quite personal. I tried to ring to try and talk to him about it, which I've always been open to. I know I've been open to the guys when I finished playing. I said if I'm in the media and writing things or saying things that you don't like, just come and speak to me," the former Australia pacer said on The Mitchell Johnson Cricket Show.
"It was never a personal thing then until this point. This is probably what drove me to write the article as well, part of it. It was definitely a factor. Some of the stuff that was said in that, I won't say it. I think that's up to Dave to say it if he wants to talk about it. There was some stuff in there that was extremely disappointing, what he said, and pretty bad to be honest," he added.
Mickey Arthur hails impact of game-changing player
Recently removed team director Mickey Arthur acknowledged that the longer opener Fakhar Zaman bats, the more dominant Pakistan become.
Zaman recently played in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, but was dropped after the opening game against the Netherlands since he was struggling to score runs.
After missing five matches, the 33-year-old returned to the playing XI and showcased his firepower as he blasted 81 and 126 not out against Bangladesh and New Zealand respectively.
Arthur pointed out that those two games perfectly show how Zaman can be a game-changer. “He (Zaman) changes games whenever he bats, the longer he bats the more dominant we become,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.