CHITTAGONG – Record-breaking Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan promised an ever better performance in the next Test after he overcame fitness concerns to lead the hosts to a 64-run win against the West Indies on Saturday.
Shakib was included in the squad for the opening Test in Chittagong despite having barely returned to training after an injury lay-off that forced him to miss the recent home series against Zimbabwe.
But he made a dream comeback as he claimed five wickets in the match to become the first Bangladeshi to complete 200 wickets in Tests.
It had been feared he would be sidelined for at least three months following emergency surgery on an injured finger in September, but physicians declared him fit sooner than expected.
The all-rounder's participation in the West Indies opener still remained uncertain until he decided to play at the very last moment.
He picked up a wicket off his very first ball in the game before finishing with 3-43 and 2-30 in the two innings, and also made a useful contribution with the bat with a first-innings knock of 34.
"I batted (in training) for only three sessions before playing the first Test. That was hardly enough, considering I resumed playing after two months," Shakib said after the match.
"That was difficult for me. But I have finished the match successfully. I am sure I will play the next match in a better condition," he said.
With his first wicket in the second innings Shakib claimed his 200th wickets in Tests, a record that also took him into an elite group of all-rounders.
Shakib, who has now 3,727 runs, is only the 14th cricketer in history to take 200 wickets and score over 3,000 runs in Tests.
"I would not have felt good to reach 200 wickets if we had not won the game. Now that we have done this, so I am feeling great," he said.
Bangladesh bowled out West Indies for 246 and 139 runs in two innings after making 324 and 125 to post a comfortable win, with their spinners accounting for all 20 wickets.
Shakib said his spinners can always bring glory if the pitch provides some assistance.
"We have quality some spinners. When it's difficult to extract help from the wicket, our bowling might not seem to be as effective. But we do very well when we get some help from the wicket," he said.
West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite hailed Shakib's performance.
"He is a very experienced bowler. He took some crucial wickets. He is quite good for Bangladesh," Brathwaite said after the match.
The second Test will be held in Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium from November 30 to December 4.AFP