Chamika Karunaratne
Chamika Karunaratne (AFP Photo)

Sri Lanka handed debut to right-arm pacer Chamika Karunaratne against Australia in the series-decider second Test in Canberra on Friday. (ALSO READ: A ‘bloody good’ day but Burns not taking anything for granted)

Karunaratne was flown in as a replacement for the injured Lahiru Kumara, reaching the Australian capital on Thursday. He was handed the Test cap as first-choice Suranga Lakmal failed to attain full fitness ahead of the crunch tie.

The 22-year-old had a memorable start to his career, picking up a wicket off his fourth delivery. However, by the time the opening day’s play came to an end, he had conceded 87 runs in 14 overs with one wicket.

Karunaratne said he was unhappy with the way he leaked runs as Australia recovered from 28/3 to finish the day at 384/4. “The ball was moving around a little bit in the morning,” Karunaratne said. “After the first session it got flatter and slow. The areas we bowled were short and we need to rectify that. We bowled a boundary ball every over. I gave away too much runs and am not happy with it. It wasn t my best. I am hoping to do better tomorrow.”

Karunaratne refused to give inexperience as an excuse for allowing the hosts to take control. “Inexperience was an issue but we cannot give excuses. When you re representing your country you have to give a hundred percent. You can t say it s because of inexperience, he said.

Karunaratne revealed that cricket wasn’t his first love as he was a national level badminton player who was once ranked second in his country. “Three years ago, I was a national number two. All my family has played badminton, I am the youngest in the family. Yeah, badminton is my first sport,” he said.