Elation and disbelief for Gazi after hat-trick
Sohag Gazi watched as everything seemed to moving in slow motion. He had just delivered the ball, hoping for a hat-trick. It had taken the edge and struck wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim on his right pad. Nasir Hossain at slip came forward, slid a little, then stopped. Shakib Al Hasan had by this time slunk over from leg-slip. He dived and completed the catch. Gazi ran away, chased by Robiul Islam, Marshall Ayub and Nasir. He couldn't believe it and, even hours later, he found it hard to describe the moment.
"I just couldn't believe what was happening," Gazi said, as he walked with a group of journalists after the game. "The hat-trick was 99% Shakib bhai's doing.
"I was stunned into silence when the ball hit Mushfiq bhai's pads and had taken off. Everything was happening in slow-motion for me from that point. Nasir was standing still, and in that last moment, Shakib bhai dived in."
Gazi had targeted the same spot from which he got the previous delivery to jump at BJ Watling. It took the edge, slammed into Mushfiqur's chest but was eventually caught, giving him two from two.
Mushfiqur added a leg-slip to complete the umbrella around Bracewell. Sohag had his eyes on that spot which didn't have a crack, but offered him some promise.
"Mushfiqur bhai always sets the field. I talk to him if I need to make little changes. Ahead of that hat-trick ball, I didn't say anything to him, or want to make any changes. I just wanted to bowl the same delivery as I did the previous ball. I was hoping to land it there and let it go straight. He could either edge it or miss it."
He fended off questions about what he felt before, during and after the hat-trick. He had done the same after he had scored the hundred on the fourth day. But the fact remains, there was a lot on Gazi's mind ahead of the game.
He had been earmarked as one of the less fit players in the team, and the situation was magnified when the media picked up on it. There wasn't much talk about it publicly, but there must have been reactions internally, within the Bangladesh setup. Gazi said that had been a motivating factor: "There was so much talk about my fitness. I took this Test match as a challenge. I really wanted to prove that I am fit."
Mushfiqur, too, said Gazi needed that six-wicket haul in the second innings, and praised his maiden century, terming it a "smart knock". "I was hoping that I could take the catch [to complete the hat-trick], but unfortunately I couldn't. But I am very happy for him," Mushfiqur said. "He really needed this performance. I would hope for him to hold on to it.
"He gave us that crucial lead in the first innings. I have seen him hit around before, but he batted very smartly in this innings. He controlled himself according to the fields that were set to curb him. He added 100-odd with Robiul Islam. It was a matured innings."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here