Australia A crumble in batting disaster

Alex Carey had his stumps rattled as Australia A collapsed against Pakistan in their tour match.
Alex Carey had his stumps rattled as Australia A collapsed against Pakistan in their tour match.

A star-studded Australia A side has been bowled out for 122 in a calamitous tour match performance against Pakistan in Perth, where forgotten man Cameron Bancroft has provided a timely reminder of his staying powers.

Joe Burns was clean-bowled for a golden duck and fellow Test hopefuls Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and Will Pucovski also fell cheaply as the hosts crumbled on day two of the pink-ball clash at Optus Stadium.

Pakistan were 0-7 at stumps, leading by 313 runs in the three-day match.

Australia A were reeling at 9-57 in reply to Pakistan's 428 before Bancroft (49) and Riley Meredith (19no) restored some pride, batting longer for the 10th wicket than the first nine combined.

The resistance came to an end when left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi found Bancroft's edge shortly before stumps.

Having only been added to the XI when Nic Maddinson withdrew on mental health grounds, Bancroft has at least given national coach Justin Langer and chief selector Trevor Hohns something to think about after coming in at No.6 and facing 155 balls.

They might have more questions than answers after veteran seamer Imran Khan (5-32) spoiled a much-anticipated Australia A bat-off on a pitch that appeared to have livened up significantly from a tame opening day.

"I think their quicks held better line and length for periods of time that made it challenging out there and they definitely reaped rewards for bowling well," Bancroft said.

"I'm sure some guys will be disappointed. They probably had a bit more control of their destiny a little bit in their innings."

Imran skittled Burns with his first delivery before Afridi cleaned up Harris (16) with a superb off-cutter.

Harris is the incumbent Test opener but his inconsistency has potentially opened the door for Bancroft to partner David Warner at the Gabba despite the West Australian's mediocre Sheffield Shield form this season.

Head (13) and Khawaja (6) both fell to the part-time offspin of Iftikhar Ahmed, Head picking out backward point and Khawaja caught behind.

Imran then found the edge of Pucovski (5), who had been duelling with Head to claim the vacant middle-order spot in Australia's Test side.

Australia A skipper Alex Carey chopped on to an Imran delivery for a seventh-ball duck to give Pakistan a crack at the tail.

The collapse came despite Pakistan being a bowler down with 16-year-old quick Naseem Shah withdrawn following the overnight death of his mother.

The tourists opted not to replace Naseem, preferring to retain the tour match's first-class status.

Australian Associated Press