Burly Bangladesh all-rounder Ziaur Rahman is garnering the benefits of continued perseverance. Not deemed good enough for selection for five long years, Zia is currently cashing in on his rich vein of form albeit not with the bat but with his gentle array of medium-fast bowling. The 26-year-old lad from Khulna, who made his bow in Tests and one-day internationals this year, could not have possibly envisaged such a fairytale comeback after picking up an injury to his right knee while playing for the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI against Maharashtra.
It took the best part of almost two years for the injury to heal completely as Zia felt discomfort every time he came on to bowl. His exploits with the bat remained his virtual hope of curving out a career in cricket.
However, his dogged determination enabled him to script an unlikely return as Zia sacrificed his pace to concentrate on maintaining a proper line and length.
However, despite adhering to a wicket-to-wicket trajectory, even Zia was amused after becoming the first Bangladeshi seam bowler in five years to accomplish a five-wicket haul in one-dayers, Farhad Reza being the last pace bowler to have achieved the feat in 2008 against Ireland.
Zia was visibly elated after his heroics with the leather against Zimbabwe in the first ODI as he recorded figures of 5-30 to lead his side to a resounding 121-run win.
‘I was unable to bowl fast due to my knee injury. I worked on my batting at that time, so now I can bat and bowl properly. I have been bowling well in the recent times so I had the belief in myself,’ said Zia.
‘I think the line and lengths were good and the wicket helped me too. But I could never envision that I would take four or five wickets in an innings.’
Zia, who came to the one-day series on the back of a stellar showing in the second innings of the second Test match against Zimbabwe where he took 4-63, also emphasised on the significance of bowling wicket to wicket which would ultimately frustrate the opposition batsmen.
‘The batsmen would be under the cosh if they were contained, and that is exactly what happened. I bowled on a wicket-to-wicket length,’ added Zia.
‘The skipper (Mushfiqur Rahim) told me to bowl as straight as possible, and wait for them to make mistakes. I am exhilarated that I have taken five wickets for the first time in international cricket.’
-With New Age input