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Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris fall as Pakistan make inroads into PM’s XI

Marcus Harris and Cam Bancroft may have had their final Test auditions with the PM's XI.

Marcus Harris and Cam Bancroft may have had their final Test auditions with the PM's XI. Photo: Getty

Australia’s potential openers are yet to make a big statement against Pakistan in the race to replace the retiring David Warner.

Batting for the Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval on Thursday, Marcus Harris (49) and Cameron Bancroft (53) made starts but didn’t go on with the job as their side finished day two at 2-149.

They are replying to Pakistan’s 9-391 declared, highlighted by skipper Shan Masood’s brilliant unbeaten 201 that perhaps raised hopes his side can match it with Australia in their upcoming Test series.

Matt Renshaw, who is another candidate to take Warner’s soon-to-be-vacant gig, crawled his way to an unbeaten 18 and will look to go big on Friday morning.

Harris, who has played 14 Tests and regularly been with the Australian side as a back-up batter, played some classy cut shots and lofted drives before throwing away his wicket.

He meekly chipped spinner Abrar Ahmed straight to mid-on just as a huge score seemed on the cards.

Bancroft entered fresh from making a mountain of runs at Sheffield Shield level – 512 at an average of 57 – but looked a little shaky on the way to his 53.

A lovely delivery from Pakistan quick Khurram Shahzad trapped him plumb lbw, leaving the PM’s side 2-112.

Renshaw was joined by giant all-rounder Cameron Green, who is also trying to bat his way back into Australian contention after being usurped in the Test side by Mitchell Marsh.

He could also play a part in replacing long-time opener Warner after he retires in January, if any of Marsh, Marnus Labuschagne or Travis Head are moved up the order to open.

Green defended solidly but rarely offered attacking strokes and will resume on 19 not out.

The PM’s XI is not facing the tourists’ first-choice bowling outfit however, with Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Wasim all rested for the tour game.

Pakistan skipper Masood looked like a man on a mission and displayed little emotion when he reached his double century, setting the tone for his side in his first innings since assuming the captaincy.

South Australia quick Jordan Buckingham (5-80) was the PM’s XI best bowler, completing his haul courtesy of a sharp catch from Renshaw at leg gully to dismiss Hamza (eight).

-AAP

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