Sharjah: Skipper Michael Clarke failed again as Australia lost a four-day warmup game against Pakistan 'A' by 153 runs in Sharjah on Saturday. Clarke, who is recovering from a hamstring injury and needed some batting practice ahead of Wednesday's first Test against Pakistan in Dubai, managed just five off as many balls before he was bowled by left-arm paceman Rahat Ali on the fourth and final day at Sharjah stadium.
Clarke made just ten in the first innings but not much can be read into Australia's loss as the match was meant for practice only. Australia, chasing 339 to win were bowled out for 185 in their second innings with paceman Mohammad Talha (3-32) and left-arm spinner Raza Hasan (3-60) destroying Australia's plans for some useful practice. Pakistan 'A' had made 305-8 declared and 306-3 declared in their two innings.
Australia had made 273-8 declared in their first knock. Hughes promised a different showing in the Tests. "It's good to see them going out there and perfoming well," said Hughes of Pakistan 'A.' "But it's going to be a different story and a different pressure in a Test match." Pakistan 'A' captain Asad Shafiq said it was good to see Clarke out cheaply.
"It's an inspiration to get Clarke out early in both the innings and very satisfactory but I don't think this win means much as it was just a practice game," said Shafiq who scored a hundred in the first innings. "But surely this win gives confidence to some of our players who will play in the Test," said Shafiq, a regular member of Pakistan's Test squad.
Also failing in both the innings was opener Chris Rogers who followed his first-ball duck with three in the second outing before he was run out. But the other opener, Phil Hughes, made 65, fit-again Mitchell Marsh scored 35 and tail-ender Peter Siddle hit 41 as Australia lost their last seven wickets for just 68 runs. Ali (2-36), likely to spearhead Pakistan's pace attack in the first Test with Talha, was also impressive. The second Test will start in Abu Dhabi from October 30.
Pakistan 'A' 305-8 dec (Asad Shafiq 108 not out; S. O'Keefe 3-76) and 306-3 declared (Babar Azam 114 not out, Haris Sohail 103 not out; N. Lyon 2-49) Australia 273-8 dec (A. Doolan 104, S. Smith 58) and Australia 185 all out (P. Hughes 65, P. Siddle 41, M. Marsh 35 ; Mohammad Talha 3-32; Raza Hasan 3-60)
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