Published: Monday, May 6, 2013

Teletalk 3G Test Series

Hurricane Razzak

53 off 21 balls  6s: 5  4s: 4 6 dot balls

53 off 21 balls
6s: 5
4s: 4
6 dot balls

At 185 for seven on a good batting pitch Bangladesh were staring down the barrel. A recovery from 88 for four had been stabbed when Shakib Al Hasan departed fuming at the umpiring decision at 124 and all hopes of a competitive score was killed when crisis man Nasir Hossain dabbed a catch into the keeper’s glove at 160. When Ziaur Rahman was also caught behind and with Mahmudullah Riyad the only recognised batsman at the crease even the low water mark of 220 seemed a distant dream.
The man walking in at that point does not inspire confidence. Abdur Razzak, Bangladesh’s second-most capped player after Mohammad Ashraful, reached 143 matches because of his left-arm spin — his batting has been an amusing aside in the past. He had once hit a 17-ball 43 in the one-off Test in the last tour of Zimbabwe in 2011, but many low scores since then has eroded memories of that innings.
The most unlikeliest of candidates joined Ashraful as the fastest half-centurion for Bangladesh, as Razzak hit five sixes and four boundaries in his 22-ball 53. His innings hit the home side like a hurricane — least expected, short and brutal. The fourth ball he faced, from Tendai Chatara, left his bat like a rifle shot and sailed out of the ground, making the long-on fielder just a spectator. In the next over, he hit Shingi Masakadza for a four and six off successive deliveries.
The one-man Bangladesh army, superfan Shoaib Ali, was in the grass banks and had been quietened by Bangladesh’s batting misfire. As wickets fell Zimbabwean fans came to him and mimicked his roar, but for the last five overs of the innings, off which 57 were scored, he found his voice and paid the taunts back with interest.
Zimbabwe bowlers seemed not to have learnt from Razzak’s early blows. They kept bowling length balls, and he kept hitting them out of the park. The 47th over was a quiet one in which Riyad was caught at short fine leg, but that did not slow down Razzak. He played an attractive walking pull over short fine-leg in Kyle Jarvis’s next over, a ball before being dropped by the bowler. Shingi was at the receiving end again in the penultimate over as Razzak hit the biggest six of the match over long-on.
The last over by Jarvis produced 18, With Razzak hitting two sixes and a four. The last of those took him to 50 off 21 balls. He walked off the ground smiling, probably wondering why the specialist batsmen had faced so much trouble.