England v Pakistan, 3rd npower Test, The Oval, 4th day August 21, 2010

Butt dedicates victory to flood victims


Pakistan captain Salman Butt dedicated his team's victory at The Oval to the thousands of victims of the raging floods which have submerged vast swathes of the country. Calling it a "national disaster", Butt believed the best he and his team-mates could do was provide some sense of joy with their efforts.

Pakistan overcame a severe attack of nerves after lunch to edge home by four wickets as Umar Akmal and Mohammad Amir steered them across the line. Butt revealed the Pakistan team had already donated a percentage of their match fee to the relief fund - England have repeated the gesture - and would be participating in various events during the rest of the tour to raise more money.

"The only thing we could do is win a good game to bring some cheer to them," he said. "We name this victory to the victims. It is like a national disaster. Even if we want to help we can give help with only the daily necessities. We have already donated percentage of our match fees. This is the only way we can give back to the Pakistan people if we perform well."

It was a sentiment supported by Andrew Strauss. "We're donating a proportion of our match fee to the fund," he said. "It's a massive humanitarian catastrophe out there and we're trying to help as much as we can and the more people who do that the better."

On the field, Saturday morning started full of hope for Pakistan as England lost their final wicket to the fourth ball of the day. A target of 148 in conditions that did not support swing and on an easy-paced pitch that did not take much turn didn't appear a big ask. Though Yasir Hameed fell immediately for a duck, Pakistan marched confidently towards the target as Butt and Imran Farhat dominating the bowlers. But things are never simple with Pakistan.

At lunch they needed 33 with seven wickets in hand, but things turned upside down for the tourists on resumption as they lost three quick wickets. Pakistan's chronic weakness of folding while chasing small totals threatened to return once again. A sense of gloom descended in the Pakistan dressing room with some members of the management seen with head in hands.

However, Butt had enough confidence in his youngest pair of batsmen - Umar (20) and Amir (18), who pushed Pakistan past the victory line. Butt admitted the situation was no different to the drama-filled morning against Australia, at Headingley, where Pakistan had stuttered to a narrow three-wicket win in overcast conditions.

"Chasing low totals there is always pressure," he said. "England faced the same in the last match [at Edgbaston] where they showed a lot of nerves. But I thought there was one mistake which was the run out [of Azhar Ali]. There was no need for that. But this kind of thing happens in these sort of finishes."

At the outset of the series Butt said England were the better team in home conditions and they would be a tougher ask than Australia and easy wins for Strauss's men in the first two Tests backed up Butt's fears. Therefore this victory at one of the home side's most successful venues, where they hadn't lost since 2001, was hugely significant.

"It is terrific because I've always been saying this is a young team, an inexperienced team but they have the potential," Butt said. "They are beginning to show that. They showed it against the Australia side and now the England side."

Butt had particular praise for Mohammad Yousuf who had been recalled by the PCB immediately after the thumping 354-run defeat at Trent Bridge. "The presence of Mohammad Yousuf, a class act, has really helped as the guys have chipped in with his experience," Butt said. "But it was a team game. Everybody put up his hand: Kamran Akmal took all his catches, the boys fielded well, Amir took wickets, Saeed Ajmal took wickets, Asif bowled really well. The debutant [Wahab Riaz] took wickets and scored runs, Azhar Ali's 92 was crucial. So I am a very happy captain right now."

While the players will take the credit for the victory, Butt also praised the contribution of the coaching staff led by Waqar Younis which is slowly managing to bring a young team together. "He [Waqar] has had a great impact having played cricket as part of the golden generation. The two Ws did wonders for Pakistan cricket - they won us games from situations where six wickets were needed with just 20 runs to defend.

"So people like that in the dressing room gives confidence, reminds you about great wins and puts belief in the youngster that he could become a hero. It is important to have heroes of the youngsters in the dressing room who can cheer them and Waqar has done a great job so far. I hope he continues the same way."

Cricinfo does not usually endorse public donation efforts but the scale of devastation that the floods have caused in Pakistan constitutes exceptional circumstances. While we cannot take responsibility for any donations made, here are a couple of organisations you could consider if you are looking to help:

The Imran Khan Flood Relief Fund: http://ptiuk.org/flood-appeal/

The Zindagi Trust: http://zindagitrust.org/donation-flood-disaster-relief.asp

There are a number of other organisations working towards the same goals and a comprehensive list of them can be found here: http://www.chowrangi.com/donation-links-and-relief-resources-for-pakistan-flood-victims.html

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    Thanks cricinfo for putting up link for donation.Really appreciate that

  • Shahid on August 25, 2010, 1:08 GMT

    I wish there was a India vs Pakistan in England series. Pakistan's bowlers are well suited in England, with a lot of moisture. India would worry about bowling though, they have fast bowlers worse than Pakistani street cricketers. Pakistan would Ins'Allah whitewash the series though. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD !!!

  • waqas on August 24, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    100 % agree with shahid mahmood we are not known for our batting & if we are getting out for lower scores we dont mind bcoz we trust our strength our bowlers who can still win the match for us on lower scores

    but what about u?? u always praise ur batsmen bt they have nothing dhoni, yuvraj ,raina, sehwag, rohit sharma, gambir including all these u cant get up to 3 digits i fell really sad 4 u guys u must pray to GOD that u should not face pakistan otherwise u will be praying to get 2 digits mark hahahahah

  • Zubi on August 23, 2010, 20:46 GMT

    @Imran Wasim is gone mad ,,,,,,,,dnt u will b shocked after the final test....... the ppl like u cant accept the reality,,,,,,,hhehhehe

  • Shahid on August 23, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    @keep_right however Pakistan won cause of their bowlers. And India used to win always cause of their batsmen. So when a batting dependent side is out for 88 or low 100's then it's a bigger shame. And whats a bigger shame you were 88/10 against a weak NZ team. If Pakistan were bowling at you you'd be 10 all out. And India doesn't know that "good bowlers" even exist. Seriously Shoaib Malik is a better bowler than Ohja. And Y. Khan is better than Z. Khan

  • Sultan on August 23, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    GGOOOD effort long live PAKISTAN and may ALLAH bless PAKISTAN and ENGLISH team and all others who r helping in such a CAUSE!

  • Vishwa on August 23, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    @Vicky_ali22: Though Team India is hardly touching 3-digit figure in ODIs, your favorite team has all the capabilities to get all-out in 70s and 80s in Test Matches, which is a bigger shame...

  • Khalid on August 23, 2010, 15:07 GMT

    My request to Irfan Wasim is avoid getting over board, Pakistan won against England and we should be talking about this only. I personally think that India is a more settled team when compared with Pakistan who are undergoing a transition phase. Having said this I must advise Irfan Wasin to see the records of Pakistan - India and he will find that pakistan is far better than India. Pakistan has 12 Test wins over India as compared to India who have won only 9 times, situation is similar in ODI's where Pakistan won 69 times with India winning only 41 times. So he should open his mouth only after India catches up with Pakistan with regards to number of victories agains each oother. These facts indicate that historically Pakistan has been a better side than India when compared with each other.

  • Waseem on August 23, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    The donation step is good. But if I were Salman Butt, I would have had my players to donate all the money earned from this match. On the other hand, I am thankful to Andrew Strauss for his team's donations.

  • Tariq on August 23, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    And cricinfo could not have done a worse job in putting up that Umar Akmal picture on the main page .... these people!

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