Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris have both thrown away starts against an undaunting Pakistan bowling attack and effectively split the first round of their bat-off. Closing the visitors’ innings and batting early on the second day of the Prime Minister’s XI clash at Manuka Oval, Harris fell just shy of a half-century and Bancroft fell moments after celebrating his. Bancroft’s 53 and Harris’ 49 were promising, but not enough to rock the boat of selectors as they weigh up several options for life after veteran opener David Warner. Fellow candidate Matthew Renshaw finished the day on 18, with cast-aside all-rounder Cam Green on 19 in the PM’s XI score of 2-149. It leaves them 242 runs in arrears of Pakistan’s 9-391 after new Test captain Shan Masood’s day-one century. Harris was the more aggressive of the two openers in their first-wicket partnership of 96. He used his feet supremely well to young spinner Abrar Ahmed, who bowled a team-high 19 overs, and hit almost half his score in boundaries. Bancroft was untroubled early by a seam attack that offered little threat to Australia’s second team, a performance that dented dreams of a competitive summer that were inspired by Masood’s efforts. Harris’ weapon proved his downfall late in the day when he clothed a lofted on-drive to mid-on off Ahmed — the shot he had mastered for much of the day. Seven overs later, under the floodlights, Bancroft was trapped in front by a Khurram Shazad ball that swung back into his pads. It was one of the few balls he missed all day. Renshaw — the most recent of the auditioning trio to play a Test — came in at three, while Green batted four in a sneaky hint as selectors eye the prospect of a middle-order reshuffle post-Warner.