Dubai: Spinner Nathan Lyon finished with eight wickets as Australia's top order gained some valuable batting practice for next month's two-match Test series against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday.
At the close on day two of their four-day side game against Pakistan 'A', Australia were 207-2 at the ICC academy ground, trailing their rivals by 71 runs with eight wickets intact.
Earlier, Pakistan 'A' were dismissed for 278 after resuming at 247-6, with Lyon taking 8-103 in a marathon 39.1 overs.
Australian opener Aaron Finch (54), Shaun Marsh (54 not out), Mitchell Marsh (53 not out) and Usman Khawaja (36) were all in the runs — a good sign ahead of the first Test starting in Dubai on 7 October.
The second Test is in Abu Dhabi from 16 October.
The Marsh brothers added 103 runs for the unbroken third wicket stand after Finch and Khawaja put on 82 for the first.
Pakistan 'A' Test hopefuls Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali failed to get a wicket. Paceman Waqas Maqsood and part-time spinner Iftikhar Ahmed grabbed a wicket each.
The day was marred by a head injury to Australian opener Matthew Renshaw, hit on the helmet by batsman Abid Ali's ferocious strike while fielding at short-leg.
Renshaw was substituted out of the tour match and the Australian management said he was being monitored by medical staff.
But to Australia's advantage the shot ricocheted and was caught by wicketkeeper Tim Paine. Abid, 83 overnight, scored 85.
Lyon was happy at his form early on the tour.
"I'm definitely confident, the ball is coming out of my hand beautifully at the moment," said Lyon, who had a miserable last tour to United Arab Emirates in 2014, taking just three wickets in Australia's 2-0 defeat in Tests.
Abbreviated Scores: Australia 207-2 (Aaron Finch 54, Shaun Marsh 54 not out, Mitchell Marsh 53 not out, Usman Khawaja 36)
Pakistan 'A' 278 (Abid Ali 85, Sami Aslam 51; Nathan Lyon 8-103)
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Ashwin spoke about how WTC has provided a context to Test cricket and would love to see more traditional format games in neutral venues.
The 29-year-old opener had launched his Test career with a stunning 200 on debut in the first of this two-match series at Lord's last week.
As things stand, India are likely to go in with three pacers and the spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the final beginning 18 June.