Australia A batting collapse against Pakistan in Perth

Australia’s much-vaunted Test batting audition is failing miserably in Perth.

Six of Australia A’s top seven batsmen have all been sent packing for scores less than 17 before tea in the pink-ball match against Pakistan at Perth Stadium.

The Aussies were left reeling at 6-44 when captain Alex Carey was bowled by Imran Khan off the last ball of the 16th over.

Carey’s wicket was the sixth to fall, following a collapse of epic proportions.

Joe Burns was bowled for a first-ball duck by Khan, while fellow opener Marcus Harris made 16 before he was bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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media_cameraUsman Khawaja walks from the field in Perth. Picture: AAP/Richard Wainwright

Usman Khawaja came in at No.3 and was caught for six off the bowling of Iftikhar Ahmed only to be followed soon after by No.4 Travis Head, who managed just 13 before he, too, was caught off Ahmed’s bowling.

Victorian Will Pucovski was caught behind off Khan for five, leaving West Australian Cameron Bancroft the lone batsman with the tail.

Australia A was sent in to bat after Pakistan was bowled out for 428 on day two.

Led by tailender Yasir Shah (53), the tourists added 92 runs in Tuesday’s opening session at Optus Stadium 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 stubborn resistance to an end.

Sixteen-year-old quick Naseem Shah did not bat and will take no further part in Tuesday’s play following the death of his mother overnight.

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

Pakistan’s depleted pace brigade should get some assistance from a pitch that appeared to have livened up after a tame opening day.

Mohammad Rizwan was notably dismissed by a rearing Richardson delivery which struck him on the glove and was caught in the slips.

Marcus Harris again lost his off stump. Picture: Paul Kane/”/>
media_cameraMarcus Harris again lost his off stump. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty

Ashes reserve paceman Michael Neser finished with 2-57, while Richardson snared all three of his wickets on Tuesday.

A strong field of Test contenders led by Travis Head are all but certain to only get one bite at the cherry after Pakistan batted through four sessions. Head was Australia’s vice-captain during the Ashes but that didn’t spare him from being axed for the deciding fifth Test at The Oval.

Fresh from a Sheffield Shield century against NSW, Head is vying to edge out talented youngster Will Pucovski for the middle-order vacancy in Australia’s Test side.

Travis Head reacts after being dismissed. Picture: AAP/Richard”/>
media_cameraTravis Head reacts after being dismissed. Picture: AAP/Richard Wainwright

“Different pressures, different times you have to bat under different circumstances, that’s why you play the game,” Head told reporters after stumps on Monday.

“You want to do well on these sort of days and these sort of games.”

National coach Justin Langer and chief selector Trevor Hohns will sit down on Wednesday to pick their squad for the first Test, with Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris and Joe Burns competing to open the batting alongside David Warner.

Originally published as Audition flop: Curtain falls on Test hopefuls

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