Butt - Win is the beginning
Salman Butt has hailed a new era for Pakistan cricket after his side beat Australia by three wickets at Headingley.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 24/07/10 7:58pm
Captain Salman Butt has hailed a new era for Pakistan cricket after his side completed a nerve-wracking three-wicket victory over Australia to level the series.
Captaining the Test side for the first time following Shahid Afridi's retirement, opening batsman Butt watched on anxiously from the Headingley pavilion as his players scraped to their first Test win over Australia in 15 years.
Pakistan began the fourth day needing just 40 runs for victory, however two early wickets left nerves jangling in the home dressing room.
Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal eased the tension with a valuable 13, but he could not finish the job and was dismissed with the scores level.
Umar Gul then hit the winning runs to end an absorbing Test match that had begun with Australia being skittled for just 88.
Asked if he thought his side might lose during a dramatic morning, Butt admitted: "Knowing the history, yes.
"Honestly, it was a bit nerve-wracking. It became that way once a few wickets fell, but that's the way that cricket goes.
"When you have this added responsibility you tend to think a bit more, especially when you are new and only in you first game. Thank God it went positively and we won."
It has been quite a few days for Pakistan, who were beaten by 150 runs in the first Test at Lord's and then left without a captain following Afridi's departure.
Butt, playing in just his 29th Test, stepped up from vice-captain to skipper the youthful side, a responsibility he took to with aplomb.
And the 25-year-old is hoping this long-awaited win is the start of a successful period for Pakistan cricket.
"This win means a lot. It's a new beginning for Pakistan cricket and the young side," said Salman.
"Beating the world's best is an achievement which I owe to this young team.
"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."