Butt admits nerves almost blew Pakistan victory

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/salman-butt.jpg' class='caption'> Pakistani captain Salman Butt admitted that nerves nearly got to his team as they scraped home in the third Test against England at the Oval.

Updated: August 21, 2010 16:34 IST
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Pakistani captain Salman Butt admitted that nerves nearly got to his team as they scraped home in the third Test against England at the Oval on Saturday.

Umar Akmal and Mohammad Amir held their nerve to guide the tourists to a four wicket win in what was almost a repeat of their defeat of Australia at Headingley recently when they lost seven wickets chasing 180.

"It was a bit nervous but this time it was by four wickets instead of three," said Butt.

The result leaves the tourists 2-1 down in the series with one more Test to play at Lord's starting on Thursday.

Set 148 to win on the fourth day Pakistan got off to a flying start thanks to Butt (48) and Imran Farhat (33) but wobbled when they lost three wickets for eight runs with their target in sight.

But Akmal (16 not out) and Amir (four not out) steadied the ship and Pakistan now head to Lord's with a chance of levelling the series.

England were given a glimmer of hope just before the break when Graeme Swann had Butt caught at slip for 48, to give him his second wicket of the innings.

And they were given further hope after lunch when Azhar Ali was run out by a combination of Swann and James Anderson, Mohammad Yousuf was bowled by Anderson for 33 and Kamran Akmal padded up to Swann and was given out leg before.

"The main mistake was the run out," said Butt. "There was no need for that but in the end the guys did really well."

For England it was a disappointing end to a six-match winning streak.

"None of us like losing," said captain Andrew Strauss. "We lost because in the first session of the game we lost five wickets and on Friday we lost six wickets quickly which cost us dearly.

"When you lose five or six wickets you are putting yourselves under pressure unnecessarily.

"We need to make sure it does not happen again but in this game Pakistan were better than us and deserved to win."

England scented victory and with Anderson and Swann blocked off the runs to try and force Umar Akmal into an aggressive shot.

But the Pakistani batsman refused to take the bait and got his 16 runs from 36 balls before winning the match by nudging Swann to midwicket and starting his celebrations before he had completed the run.

Before lunch Butt and Farhat, looking determined to finish things early, got Pakistan past 50 in the eighth over after they had lost opener Yasir Hameed to the fourth ball of the innings.

The opener edged his first ball from Anderson to second slip where Graeme Swann needed two attempts to hold on to the chance which left Pakistan on five for one.

Farhat made 33 before he was leg before to Swann, the only bowler who gave Strauss any control whatsoever. Butt nearly saw his team home, making his 48 runs from 64 balls but he was neatly caught by Paul Collingwood, again off Swann, just before lunch.

With 33 needed after lunch Pakistan had a wobble when Azhar, Yousuf and Akmal all departed.

England added just one run to their overnight total as Aamir recorded his Test best figures of 5-52 to give Pakistan their chance of winning the Test.

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