Islamabad, December 6, 2023 – Shan Masood, leading Pakistan for the first time, showcased his captaincy with a spectacular 156-run unbeaten century on the opening day of the four-day match against Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Masood’s 25th first-class century proved instrumental in guiding Pakistan to a commendable total of 324-6 after 89.4 overs.
The day started with a twist as right-arm pacer Jordan Buckingham made an early impact by dismissing the opening batter, Imam-ul-Haq, for just 9 runs. Choosing to bat first after winning the toss, Pakistan faced early adversity, but the resilient Masood stepped in during the eighth over with the score at 18-1.
Teaming up with Abdullah Shafique (38, 76b, 1×4), Shan Masood displayed exemplary batting prowess, forging a crucial 58-run partnership before Shafique departed after mistiming a delivery from Steketee. The experienced Babar Azam then joined forces with Masood, contributing 40 runs to the total before falling victim to Buckingham.
Despite the regular fall of wickets at the other end, Shan Masood stood tall, showcasing his experience and skill. Saud Shakeel (13, 35b, 1×4) and wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed (41, 47b, 6×4) both made valuable contributions, with the latter forming a resilient 73-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
As the day progressed, Masood continued to anchor the innings, reaching an unbeaten 156 from 235 deliveries, including 13 boundaries and a six. His brilliant innings ensured Pakistan remained in a competitive position at the end of the day, finishing at 324-6 after facing 89.4 overs.
The Pakistani skipper’s innings was not without its challenges, with Buckingham claiming three crucial wickets for Prime Minister’s XI. The right-arm pacer finished the day with figures of 3-63, while Mark Steketee, Nathan McAndrew, and Todd Murphy also contributed with a wicket each.
Faheem Ashraf (17, 35b, 1×4) was the last wicket to fall on the opening day, but by then, Shan Masood had already etched his name into the record books with an exceptional display of leadership and batting prowess.
The focus now shifts to the second day’s play at Manuka Oval, where Pakistan will look to build on the solid foundation laid by their captain. Shan Masood’s performance on the tour opener not only sets a positive tone for Pakistan but also establishes him as a dependable leader and a key contributor with the bat. As the tour unfolds, cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipate more stellar performances from Shan Masood and the rest of the Pakistani team.