Saud Shakeel stars on day one of practice match against Victoria XI

Saud Shakeel top-scored with 70 for Pakistan on day one of their two-day practice match against Victoria XI at Junction Oval St. Kilda.

Pakistan, having won the toss, chose to bat first, with their openers adopting a cautious approach. Abdullah Shafique departed at 47-1 after contributing 26 runs from 58 balls, caught by Will Pucovski off the bowling of Sam Elliot. The second wicket fell at 87-2 as Imam ul Haq scored 37 runs from 67 balls before being caught by Blake Thomson on Will Parker’s delivery.

At lunch, Pakistan stood at 95-2 after 28 overs, with Saim Ayub at 23 not out and Saud Shakeel unbeaten at 4. Post-lunch, Pearson dismissed Saim Ayub for 30, but Saud Shakeel continued his impressive performance. Forming a century partnership with Rizwan, Saud reached a score of 70, and Rizwan achieved 50, guiding Pakistan to 220-3 after 56 overs by the Tea Break. The duo opted to retire themselves out at Tea break.

In the post-Tea session, Salman Ali Agha and Sarfaraz Ahmed collaborated, with Salman scoring 51 runs from 73 balls before being stumped by Peter Handscomb off Doug Warren’s bowling. Warren went on to dismiss Aamer Jamal and Hassan Ali for a duck each. Sarfaraz Ahmed, having scored 35, was dismissed by Matt Fotia, who also clean bowled Shaheen Afridi for 12, leading to Pakistan being all out for 323 in 78.4 overs.

Pucovski hit Shaheen Afridi for a boundary on the second delivery of Victoria XI’s inning. However, Shaheen had the last laugh, as he clean bowled Pucovski on the fourth delivery of the same over.

Victoria XI finished the day on 47-1 after 11 overs, with Marcus Harris on 18 not out and Thomson of 25 not out.