Twice now in international cricket, he has taken four wickets in four balls. Of the 100 hat-tricks in international cricket, he has a 5% share. And if Lasith Malinga had not produced his searing spell on Friday, which in addition to the four-in-four reaped him a match analysis of five wickets for six runs, Sri Lanka stood little chance of defending their modest 125 for 8. They would have been whitewashed.

"I always come to every match thinking I can turn the game around," Malinga, who moved up 20 spots to No. 21 in the T20I bowlers' rankings after the performance, said. "The skill that I have in taking wickets, considering the experience, is more than any other player on the field. I don't care who believes that or not, but I believe that. So I want to control the game as soon as I get the ball in hand."

The hat-trick, though, was not the only milestone Malinga ticked during his spell. His first wicket had been his 100th in T20Is - a tally no other bowler has achieved. In moving into triple figures in the shortest format, Malinga also became the first bowler in history to have 100 wickets in all three international formats.

"It's just another achievement for me. It happened today and it's history now, but if I was hit badly tomorrow, these four wickets and the other achievements are all forgotten," he said. "But then, I am really happy that I could take four wickets in four balls in T20s as well, because I am playing in the latter part of my career.

"All the younger players who played with me, could see it with their own eyes. I think that could have been an inspiration to them and maybe they also think that they can something like this. That's what an up-and-coming player needs - to see something happen, and train towards that."

Malinga also spoke in detail about his thinking during the four-wicket sequence, during which he dismissed Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor.

"After taking the first wicket [of Munro], the newcomer [Rutherford] was an inexperienced left hander. I thought of getting him out in the first ball. My best weapon is the inswinging yorker, so I thought of using that and he got out," he explained.

"Then came de Grandhome and Taylor. These two guys have been a real headache for us throughout the series. The other bowlers failed to get them in the other match. I was thinking how to get these two guys, and I knew we could win the game if we get them. I thought that if I could bowl two yorkers, then why not the third? So I got back to my mental preparation that I do before I bowl a yorker, and walked back to my run-up.

"The timing and accuracy was there and I got the third wicket. When I got the third, I was thinking again: 'Why not try it a fourth time?' It was all the same preparation again and I did it."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf