Ah well, this day couldn't really have started any better, could it? What a morning. What a place.
In the fourth over, Nuwan Pradeep aiya gets Vernon Philander out with a bouncer. Perfect. Next over, I get a wicket and complete my first ever five-wicket haul. When we play at home, people keep saying my only job is to bowl until the ball is soft enough for Rangana Herath's little hands to hold. There are entire sessions when my main job is to run into the huddle and give the spinners some good high fives.
Not here. I like this place. When we came here, we didn't even have to suffer the normal pre-series insults we get when we tour, like when Rodney Hogg called us "the worst attack to ever tour Australia", or the time Michael Vaughan said we were "a glorified county attack".
Superb, we've got them all out for 286. Where are the jokesters now? Are they watching as I lead the team off the field? I've been dreaming of getting five wickets for Sri Lanka my whole life. Do they have an honours board here? I should get them to put my full name as a joke: Ranasinghe Arachchige Suranga Lakmal.
Why not? I deserve it. This is the life.
It's time for a shower, but when I come out, aiyo what's this? One wicket down already? He was out playing an attacking shot, wasn't he? These opening fellows are supposed to knuckle down and protect the middle order, but every time I walk out of the shower, we are always 5 for 1 or 10 for 2. It's like teenagers who get sent to their rooms to study, but when their parents walk in they are on the internet, with their pants on the ground, looking at bad websites. Never mind. Still nine batsmen to go.
Now Kusal Perera malli has gone to bat. Why is he trying to whack the ball so much? This not a polygraph test, Kusal. Your career doesn't hinge on you smashing it. Take it easy - I have bowled 27 overs and need some time to rest, no? Bloody hell, he's out trying to cut a ball that pitched just outside off stump. I know he has been cleared of doping and all, but do the drug tests check for amphetamines? What about crack cocaine?
Kusal Mendis is walking out now. Surely he'll do something. No, he's out driving at the ball as well. I mean, imagine if I got to bowl at these fellows. I'd get a five-wicket haul pretty much every over. What honours board? There would be small towns bearing my name.
Ah, at last, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal - you guys are the senior batsmen. Show us how it is done. I don't have to tell you that it is good for us to bat time, since we want the pitch to wear enough to bring Rangana into the game, right? You don't have to be told that leaving the ball and settling down will make things easier for the tail as well? Then how come, Angelo, you've hung your bat out and given a nick to second slip, while Chandimal has sent an edge to the keeper (but was dropped) as well?
How can we teach you guys where your off stump is? Can I draw you a picture, so you know what to look for on the field? Should we go on a team expedition to locate it? Would it help if I dropped a google pin and sent you the GPS co-ordinates?
Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I should give more money to the poor, and adopt some street animals to get good karma, because, truly, I don't know what I did in my past life to be born a Sri Lankan fast bowler. I must have been a terrible person. Maybe I committed genocide.
Oh good. Now Chandimal is out. And he's wasted our last review on a ball that was hitting pretty much the middle of middle stump. So it's time for me to go put on the pads again.
Why? What did I do to deserve this? How is this my life?