Suranga Lakmal, who took 5/75 on the second day of Sri Lanka's Test against Australia in Brisbane, has said that his performance was a "dream come true."
Lakmal rated this performance, which he produced despite Lahiru Kumara's mid-innings injury forcing him to undertake an extra workload, above his recent career-best 5/54 in New Zealand.
Kumara injured his hamstring and was forced off the field for the entirety of the final session. He is set for scans to indicate the full extent of the injury.
Suranga Lakmal had two in two after this ripper catch by Kusal Mendis!#AUSvSL | @bet365_aus pic.twitter.com/kZ41MsDjGa— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 25, 2019
Commenting on his performance, Lakmal said: "I treasure the Australian five-wicket haul much more than anything else. I always wanted to take a five-wicket haul in Australia and it's a dream come true. On wickets that help, I try to do my best and I am pretty pleased with my effort."
An additional sub-plot to Lakmal's performance was that he was on course to break Rumesh Ratnayake's – Sri Lanka's current bowling coach – record for the best figures taken by a Sri Lankan bowler in Australia.
Congratulations to Suranga Lakmal for his third five-wicket haul in Test cricket! 👏 #AUSvSL pic.twitter.com/3CipC4Z7sw— ICC (@ICC) January 25, 2019
At the end of the day, Ratnayake revealed that he was urging Lakmal on to break his record. He said: "When he came in after his fourth wicket to the dressing room for a break, I told him that he shouldn't be in the dressing room but out in the middle. I told him that I saw seven wickets for him in the innings. I told him not to miss the opportunity. Records are there to be broken and I really wanted him to break my record tonight.
"Had he done that, we would have kept them down by 40 runs or so, but all in all I am pretty pleased for him. He really felt that the loss of Lahiru is a huge one for us. So he took the onus on him to finish it off."
Sri Lanka will resume day three on 17/1, 162 runs behind Australia, having lost Dimuth Karunaratne to Pat Cummins on the last ball of the day.