Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak said that the spin-friendly wicket in his comeback Test in Dhaka against Sri Lanka was new to him.
The 35-year old spinner, who was playing his first Test since 2014, displayed an incredible performance on his return as he finished with 4-63 helping Bangladesh bowl out the opposition for only 222 runs in their first innings.
This was the lowest ever total for Sri Lanka against Bangladesh and the hosts owed a lot of their success to Razzak.
Razzak did not let the hosts feel the absence of injured Sakib al Hasan with key wickets in the first session before finishing with his career-best figure.
This was a unique experience for Razzak, who opened the bowling for Bangladesh and got a success in only his third over of his comeback Test.
‘I don’t think I have ever played Tests on such a wicket,’ Razzak told reporters in Mirpur after the opening day’s play.
‘Bangladesh were new to Test cricket in those days, so we were not really organised enough to understand our strengths,’ said Razzak, recalling his early days in Test cricket.
Razzak was called into the side for the first Test dramatically after Sakib suffered an injury in his left little finger.
He was, however, left out of the started line-up as team-management preferred uncapped Sunzamul Islam ahead of him for the drawn first Test in Chittagong.
Razzak returned to Dhaka before the first Test was completed but joined the squad again for the second Test finally to complete his comeback story after the long break.
The left-arm spinner struck three times in the morning session after Sri Lanka opted to bat first as he stumped out Dimuth Karunaratne for three before rattling Sri Lanka with the wickets of Danuskha Gunathilaka and Dinesh Chandimal off successive deliveries.
He also bowled dangerous-looking Kusal Mendis (68) out soon after the lunch break and was quite in contention to mark his comeback with a maiden five-wicket haul.
However, at the end of the innings, he had to remain content with his four wickets as Tajiul Islam and Mustafizur Rahman shared the last five wickets between them.
Razzak claimed that he was a bit of nervous in the initial period but got confidence soon after the match progressed and was happy to perform for the national team.
‘It is like any player who wants to play for the national team,’ he described his feeling. ‘It is hard to express in words. It is quite a good feeling.
‘Obviously, international cricket is at a different level compared to domestic tournaments. So there was a bit of nerve at the start but it slowly went away,’ he added.
Despite restricting Sri Lanka to a modest first innings total, the Tigers failed to take the advantage as they were left tottering at 56-4 at stumps on the first day.
As 14-wickets fell on the first day, Razzak was quite certain about the fact that the match would obviously get a result but he also felt that the Tigers were capable of recovering from the current stage in the match.
‘I think it is a definitely result-oriented wicket and the match, given its current state, may not go to the fifth day,’ he said.
‘Every session has different characteristics in a Test match. There’s always room to recover in a Test match. I think we lost two wickets too many and I think we can recover from here,’ he added.
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