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Pakistan’s two-day practice match against Victoria XI ends in a draw

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The two-day practice match between Pakistan and Victoria XI, played at Junction Oval in Melbourne, resulted in a draw.

The previous day saw Pakistan declare their first innings at 323-8, helped by half-centuries by Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan and Salman Ali Agha.

In reply to Pakistan’s 323, Victoria XI posted 272-4 before declaring.

Pakistan then posted 57-3 in their second innings, when stumps were called.

Victoria XI started the day trailing by 276 runs, with Marcus Harris and Blake Thomson on the crease. Thomson (30, 46b, 7x4s) was caught off Mir Hamza’s bowling early in the day but Harris went on to register a century (126, 131b, 22x4s, 1×6).

Dylan Brasher was the other contributor with the bat. He scored an unbeaten half-century (79 not out, 105b, 12x4s), which helped the team reduce the first-innings deficit to 51 runs.

Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mir Hamza and Sajid Ali all returned with a wicket each.

Shan Masood and Abdullah Shafique opened the batting for Pakistan in their second innings. Shan fell cheaply to Matthew Fotia. Sarfaraz Ahmed, who replaced Shan on the crease, was dismissed by Sam Elliott for 10.

Abdullah, who hit a 44-ball-39 including seven boundaries, was the top scorer for Pakistan for the day.

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After Abdullah fell to Tyler Pearson in the 12th over of the innings, Pakistan and Victoria XI captains shook hands and the match was drawn.

Pakistan will play their second Test of the three-match series against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting 26 December.

It is pertinent to mention that the upcoming Boxing Day Test against Australia is a must-win fixture for Pakistan to stay alive in the three-match series.

The Shan Masood-led Pakistan succumbed to a 360-run defeat in the first Test in Perth.

Pakistan, who were at the top of the World Test Championship (WTC) points table with a perfect, record, got another blow to their campaign when the International Cricket Council (ICC) penalized them for maintaining a slow over-rate during the Perth Test.

Pakistan were fined 10 per cent of their match fee and docked two ICC WTC points.

The sanction after a hammering defeat, consequently resulted in them slipping to the second spot with a winning rate of 61.11.

Two-time runners-up India benefitted from Pakistan’s demotion and reached the summit with a winning percentage of 66.67.

READ: Usman Khawaja insists armband was not political, after ICC reprimand

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