Bangladesh left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak made a stunning return to the Test scene after four years, picking up four wickets for the host against Sri Lanka on day one of the second and final Test match Thursday. Razzak, who last played in the white outfit for Bangladesh against the same opposition in February 2014, bagged four scalps and aided the Tigers to restrict the visiting side for 222 in the first innings.
Razzak's return to the national fold has been a surprising one, given the culture Bangladesh cricket possesses. A return to the national dressing room following a gap of four years and at the age of 35 is quite an eye opener.
Razzak, last month, was in the limelight taking 500 first-class wickets and this had stirred discussions if the Khulna man deserved a call in the national team, at least for the longer version of the game.
With all-rounder and Test captain Shakib al Hasan getting ruled out due to injury just ahead of the series, the national selectors had room for another player in the side. Razzak was benched in the first Test in Chittagong but with condition favouring the spinners in Dhaka, Bangladesh included the experienced Razzak, in place of Sanjamul Islam, in the playing XI.
"It is like any player who wants to play for the national team. It is hard to express in words. It is quite a good feeling," said Razzak to the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
Bangladesh on the day lost the toss and were asked to bowl first. Razzak opened the bowling and initiated the first strike, removing Dimuth Karunaratne. The Sri Lanka batsman went down the wicket only to witness the ball dip, pass between the legs and see the wicket-keeper dismantle the wickets for a stumping. The left-arm Bangladesh spinner went on to take three more wickets in the innings and was on a hat-trick opportunity.
In the first ball of the 28th over, Razzak dismissed Danushka Gunathilaka and in the following delivery dismissed Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal for a duck. Chandimal had failed to determine the line of the length ball which had drew him forward only to see the ball rip away past the outside edge and flatten the off stump. Razzak was denied the hat-trick by Roshen Silva but the Bangladesh bowler bagged his fourth wicket a few overs later, accounting for the wicket of opener Kusal Mendis for 68.
Razzak thanked the BCB for considering his return which he has been able to mark in brilliant fashion. The most senior cricketer in the Bangladesh dressing room admitted of having butterflies in the stomach during the whole process of him getting into the playing XI and leaving a mark in his first Test delivery in four years.
"I definitely feel that in the current climate of our cricket when fitness is so important, I must thank the BCB for giving me the chance now. It means that nobody should ever give up. Everyone's chances remain alive," said Razzak.
"The heart was beating quite fast but not like earlier in my career. There's always excitement, from the time I got selected to marking my run-up. Since you are playing for your country, you think differently," he added.