The ignominy of missing out on making history with Bangladesh - when the Tigers beat West Indies in the Test series - did wonders to Abdur Razzak late on Sunday. The slow left-armer used up some of that pent-up energy to help the touring side win the opening one-day international against West Indies by 52 runs.
Razzak, who was prevented from bowling in international cricket in Dec 2008 due to a suspect action before having 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 of Windsor Park, Dominica. "This [performance] was important for me," Razzak said. "I was out of the team for eight months, and now I am back in the side, I am looking to do well.
"I was not surprised when the captain [Shakib al Hasan] gave me the new ball, especially the way the pitches have been playing in the Caribbean during this series. "When I played in the Caribbean in the 2007 World Cup, I also used the new ball, so it's normal." The victory gives Bangladesh a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the second one-dayer 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. Mohammed Ashraful hit the top score of 57 and Shakib stroked 54 to lead the Bangladesh batting, despite Kemar Roach taking a career-best five for 44. But Razzak then gave Bangladesh a boost, when he trapped West Indies opener Dale Richards lbw for one in the second over.
Bangladesh continued to build the pressure, particularly with their spin bowlers operating from very early, and West Indies slumped to 42 for four in the 12th over. Devon Smith and Dave Bernard Jr added 78 for the fifth wicket to stabilise West Indies. But Shakib, bowling his left-arm spin, made the breakthrough in the 29th over, when he trapped Smith lbw for the top score of 65. Naeem Islam scalped Bernard caught at deep mid-wicket for 38 three overs later to leave 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 resistance from the remaining West Indies batsmen, although Sammy got 28 before Razzak trapped him lbw in the 42nd over. West Indies captain Floyd Reifer captain expressed concern over the top-order's batting performance, which has not been up to the mark in the past month, especially with no time left to prepare for the next match. "We lost the game with our batting," 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." * With agencies