Shane Shillingford returned career-best figures of six for 49 to bowl West Indies to a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the first Test in Barbados, and he has hailed his effort as his 'best performance ever'.
Zimbabwe were dismissed for just 107 in their second innings, leaving West Indies with a paltry target of 12, which either side of the lunch break on the third day, they polished off for the loss of Kieran Powell's wicket.
And although Shillingford grabbed a 10-wicket haul against Australia in Dominica last year, he rates this performance higher.
"I would rate this as my best performance ever," he said following the game. "When I got the 10 wickets against Australia last year we didn’t win the match so there wasn't anything to celebrate.
"Today, I got six and ended with nine in the match. We have something to celebrate - we won the match big and I’m happy to be part of it. That makes it special."
Shillingford has faced a battle to get back into the side, having last played a Test against England in June, and before that he was banned from bowling due to an illegal action in 2010, being cleared to return in 2011.
His form in the domestic four-day competition, where he took 24 wickets in three matches, forced his name back into the selectors' minds, and he was selected ahead of Sunil Narine and Veerasammy Permaul.
"I played a couple of games here during the first-class season and picked up wickets. I just gave it my all. I tried to bowl a consistent line first up and then tried to spin the ball as much as possible," he said.
"Before the match the captain and the coach spoke to us about the importance of this match and the series and the need to win and make it five straight wins. I was confident from the time I came into the match. I always do well when I play at Kensington against Barbados so I came into this match knowing I had a crucial role to play.
"I was quite surprised to see how helpful the pitch was from the first day so I decided to exploit it. I was able to get spin and bounce and that was great for me. I knew after that all I had to do was get the ball in the right areas and I would get my reward."
Shillingford will be aiming to build on a highly successful return to the side when the two sides clash in the second and final Test, which begins in Dominica - Shillingford's home ground - on 20th March.
In his nine Test appearances to date, Shillingford has now taken 38 wickets at an average of 37.00 with two five-wicket hauls.
© Cricket World 2013
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