Butt praises youngsters as Pakistan beat Australia

Updated: 24 July 2010 13:40 IST

Pakistan captain Salman Butt praised his young side and their supporters after leading the team to a first Test victory over Australia in 15 years.

Butt praises youngsters as Pakistan beat Australia

Leeds:

Pakistan captain Salman Butt praised his young side and their supporters after leading the team to a first Test victory over Australia in 15 years in his first game in charge.

Pakistan just about held their nerve to complete a three-wicket win on the fourth day of the second Test at Headingley here on Saturday as they finished on 180 for seven.

And when tailender Umar Gul hit the winning run at 11.35am local time (1035GMT) on the fourth day, it meant Pakistan had ended a record run of 13 straight Test defeats by Australia stretching back to 1995.

Pakistan's victory also saw them square the series at 1-1 after a 150-run loss in last week's first Test at Lord's which led to their former captain Shahid Afridi's retirement from five-day cricket.

A raw side, without senior batsmen Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan - both left at home after the fall-out from bans imposed following Pakistan's 3-0 Test series loss in Australia last year - resumed on 140 for three.

They lost four wickets for 40 runs on Saturday before Gul hit Mitchell Johnson for the decisive single.

Pakistan had blown a seemingly gilt-edged chance against Australia in Sydney in January when, chasing 176, they were bowled out for 139 in a 36-run defeat.

"Knowing the history, it was a bit nerve-wracking," opening batsman Butt told reporters afterwards.

"Thank God it went positively and we won."

This series was played in England because no major international cricket has taken place in Pakistan since an armed attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore in March last year.

"Beating the world's best is an achievement which I owe to this young team," Butt said. "We owe it also definitely to the people back in Pakistan.

"We would have loved to have won this match in front of our home crowd but unfortunately that is not possible at the moment. But still we need to tell these people that we still remember them and we will be back soon hopefully.

"It means a lot. It's a new beginning for Pakistan cricket and the young side," the left-hander added.

Pakistan bowled Australia out for just 88 on Wednesday thanks to a potent seam attack featuring teenage left-arm quick Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and the reliable Gul.

The trio are likely to pose England's batsmen plenty of problems, although they won't have much time to recover before a four-Test series gets underway at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Aamer finished with Test-best match figures of seven for 106 at Headingley while Butt said Asif's remorseless accuracy reminded him of now retired Australia pace great Glenn McGrath.

"I'm very fortunate," said Butt. "If they are not the world's best, then they are amongst the world's top two or three. Mohammad Aamer is definitely amongst the world's best fast bowlers.

"Mohammad Asif with the new ball is the best fast bowler I've seen since Glenn McGrath."

Butt though vowed to prevent his youthful side getting carried away by this victory.

"I hope they continue to learn and that this win doesn't get into their heads. We have to work harder because we know we will make mistakes."

Meanwhile Australia captain Ricky Ponting insisted this loss would not damage his team's morale ahead of their two-Test series against India in October and their subsequent bid to regain the Ashes from England on home soil.

"I don't think it will do too much to dent our confidence," Ponting said. "It just goes to highlight we've got some work to do. We're not shying away from that fact."

The star batsman, who in this match became only the second player after India's Sachin Tendulkar to score 12,000 Test runs, said of his decision to bat first after winning the toss: "There's no doubt it's had a big impact.

"Looking back now, I was a bit surprised how much it seamed on that first day. That's my responsibility. The buck stops with me."



Topics : Cricket Australia
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