A star-studded Australia A side has crumbled to 9-73 in a calamitous tour match performance against Pakistan in Perth.
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 Australia A endured a disastrous session on day two of the pink-ball clash.
Veteran seamer Imran Khan snared 5-21, with the hosts limping to Tuesday’s dinner break at Optus Stadium in reply to Pakistan’s 428.
Cameron Bancroft, batting at No.6 after being added to the XI when Nic Maddinson withdrew on mental health grounds, dug in to be unbeaten on 23 alongside Riley Meredith (3no).
National coach Justin Langer and chief selector Trevor Hohns will sit down on Wednesday to pick their squad for the first Test, and the hosts’ collapse after Pakistan had batted for four sessions is certain to cause them headaches.
Australia A’s quicks had little assistance from the pitch or the pink ball on day one but the wicket appeared to have since livened up significantly.
Imran skittled Burns with his first delivery before left-arm quick Shaheen 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.
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The collapse comes despite Pakistan being a bowler down with 16-year-old quick Naseem Shah withdrawn following the overnight death of his mother.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.
Led by tailender Yasir Shah (53), Pakistan added 92 runs in the opening session after Babar Azam (157) and Asad Shafiq (119) retired overnight.
Yasir was trapped lbw by Jhye Richardson (3-79) just before the tea break, bringing Pakistan’s resistance to an end.