Pakistan v Australia Test - Men's
Holland shines in tour match draw
Australia's tour game against Pakistan A petered out to a draw on the final day
Louis Cameron in Dubai
2 October 2018, 10:59 PM AEST
A maiden five-wicket haul in Australian colours from Jon Holland has highlighted the final day of Australia's tour match against Pakistan A, which petered out to a draw on Tuesday.
Ahead of their two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE, the visitors were unable to bowl out their persistent opponents on a slow but increasingly volatile ICC Academy pitch that saw just 21 wickets fall over the course of the four-day encounter.
If there had been any doubt over his spot, Holland put it to bed with an encouraging return of 5-79 from 25 overs as Pakistan A ended the match on 7-261.
The Australians batted just once in the match, declaring their first innings on the morning of day four at 4-494 having batted the majority of the second and third days. Mitch Marsh (162), Shaun Marsh (94), Travis Head (90 not out) and Aaron Finch (54) all spent valuable time at the crease.
Nathan Lyon's first-innings haul of 8-103 rivalled the younger Marsh for the game's standout performance, with the off-spinner shaping as Australia's major weapon on Dubai and Abu Dhabi wickets expected to play low and slow.
The only health concern for the tourists is Matthew Renshaw, who was struck in the helmet while fielding at short leg. The opener ran drinks and cut a cheerful figure on the game's fourth day having earlier been substituted out of the XI as a precaution.
After the first three days moved along at walking pace with both teams scoring at less than three runs per over, the Pakistanis shot out of the blocks following Australia's declaration on the fourth morning leading by 216 runs.
Opener Shan Masood took 16 off a wayward first over from Mitchell Starc as Lyon, perhaps in a sign of things to come in the series proper, was deployed as the other opening bowler.
The 50 was up shortly after the 10-over mark but the introduction of Holland paid off immediately as Masood chipped to Shaun Marsh at mid-wicket to depart for a 44-ball 41.
Head then took a tumbling catch at square leg to see the back of Sami Aslam (12) and hand Michael Neser a maiden wicket in Australian whites – a deserved one given the Queensland quick's tidy bowling efforts.
The slip cordon made way for a trio of catching mid-wickets, first for Neser and then for new vice-captain Mitch Marsh as the scoring rate defaulted to the norm.
The Aussie spinners toiled fruitlessly for the majority of the second session as Abid Ali posted his second half-century of the match, before a sharp catch from Labuschagne at short leg off Lyon gave the tourists a sniff of victory.
Pakistan will hope Shafiq’s knock is a preview of what's to come in the Test series, skilfully handling varying degrees of sharp turn and bounce.
The fleet-footed right-hander took 121 balls to reach his half-century as Tim Paine cycled through his bowlers in a bid to force the breakthrough that precipitated a collapse.
Shafiq looked a little miffed when he was adjudged to have edged Holland behind to Paine in the final session shortly before Pakistan A reached parity.
Usman Salahuddin and Iftikhar Ahmed became the left-armer's third and fourth victims thanks, respectively, to a catch at first slip by Finch and a stumping from Paine as victory appeared a genuine possibility.
Holland snared his fifth (Saad Ali, caught by Paine for five) as a welcome afternoon breeze rolled in and Mohammad Rizwan (eight not out) and Wahab Riaz (two not) saw out the remaining deliveries before the final handshakes.
Qantas Tour of the UAE
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc
Pakistan Test squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez
Sep 29 - Oct 2: Tour match v Pak A, Dubai
Oct 7-11: First Test, Dubai
Oct 16-20: Second Test, Abu Dhabi