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Butt loves sound of timber

The first thought that crossed fast bowler Fayyaz Butt’s mind, as he opened the bowling against India, was that 70 of his fellow trainees at a small academy in Sialkot were perched in front of a giant screen at 2.30 am to watch him. The bleary eyed would barely have had a chance to focus on the screen before Butt knocked back KL Rahul's off-stump, reports Anand Vasu.

cricket Updated: Jan 23, 2010 23:19 IST
Anand Vasu

The first thought that crossed fast bowler Fayyaz Butt’s mind, as he opened the bowling against India, was that 70 of his fellow trainees at a small academy in Sialkot were perched in front of a giant screen at 2.30 am to watch him. The bleary eyed would barely have had a chance to focus on the screen before Butt knocked back K.L. Rahul's off-stump.

Wiry, energetic and fresh-faced, Butt, 16, began playing cricket seriously at Murray College, whose alumnus include leaders, Nobel nominees and former Pakistan skipper Zaheer Abbas. While Butt likes to think his style of play is like Brett Lee, it is Imran Khan that the youngster wants to be like.

“I don't know what it is, but I seem to have a knack of picking up a wicket with the first ball of a match,” said Butt, whose 4-27 wrecked India's innings. “I’ve done it before also, and there's nothing better for a fast bowler than to see the stumps shattered with the first ball.”

From there on, things got better for Pakistan. “I feel sorry for the Indian team because losing such a tight game is heartbreaking,” said Pakistan coach Ijaz Ahmed. “I keep telling my team, as long as they fight, the public will be happy.”

Ijaz singled out the attitude of his team for praise. “In the morning, I was thinking the match would not happen and we would go through to the next round. But the players were very keen to get out on the field and beat India,” he said.

Chandrakant Pandit, India's coach, felt the team had it in them to go further.

“Certainly, the ability is there,” he said. “Today we just lacked a bit of cricketing intelligence. It's all about handling situations, playing according to the situation.”