Abdur Razzak made a triumphant return to the Bangladesh side when he helped the Tigers win the opening one-day international against the West Indies by 52 runs on Sunday.
Razzak, who was prevented from bowling in international cricket in December because of a suspect action and had his suspension lifted in March, opened the bowling and took four wickets for 39 runs as Bangladesh defended a target of 247 at international cricket’s newest venue, Windsor Park.
“I was not surprised when the captain gave me the new ball, especially the way the pitches have been playing in the Caribbean during this series,” Razzak said. “When I played in the Caribbean in the 2007 World Cup, I also used the new ball, so it’s normal, but this was important for me. I was out of the team for eight months and now I am back in the side, I am looking to do well.”
The victory gives Bangladesh a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the second match scheduled for the same venue today and the final match on Friday at Warner Park in St Kitts.
Razzak again exposed the West Indies’ frailty to spin bowling, after Bangladesh, sent in to bat, were restricted to 246 for nine from their allocation of 50 overs.
Mohammad Ashraful hit the top score of 57 and captain Shakib Al Hasan stroked 54 to lead the Bangladesh batting, despite Kemar Roach taking a career-best five wickets for 44 runs.
However, Razzak, who did not play in his team’s successful Test series, then gave Bangladesh a boost when he trapped West Indies opener Dale Richards leg before wicket for 1 in the second over.
Bangladesh continued to build the pressure, particularly with their spin bowlers operating from very early, and the West Indies slumped to 42 for four in the 12th over.
Devon Smith and Dave Bernard Jr added 78 for the fifth wicket to stabilize the innings, but Shakib, bowling his left-arm spin, made the breakthrough in the 29th over when he trapped Smith leg before wicket for the top score of 65.
Naeem Islam scalped Bernard caught at deep mid-wicket for 38 three overs later to leave the West Indies 130 for six.
Rawl Lewis then put on 41 with Darren Sammy for the seventh wicket, before Rubel Hossain bowled him for 21 in the 40th over.
Bangladesh found little or no resistance from the remaining West Indies batsmen, although Sammy got 28 before Razzak trapped him leg before wicket in the 42nd over.
“We lost the game with our batting,” West Indies captain Floyd Reifer said. “We didn’t get the start we wanted from the top and this is something that is worrying us at the moment. We are not getting enough partnerships at the top of the innings. We are quite happy with the balance of the team.”
Earlier, Ashraful held the Tigers’ top-order together and when he was dismissed, Shakib kept his nerve to take advantage of the powerplay in the closing overs to help Bangladesh post their highest total against the West Indies.
“We were always confident with the final total we posted because we knew the pitch was playing a little slowly and we had four spinners in our side,” Shakib said. “I have been surprised by the nature of the pitches in the Caribbean. I thought they would have had more bounce and pace, but it suited our spinners and Razzak came back into the side, bowled well and did a good job for us.”
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