India eves clinch gold at Asian Games 2023 cricket in China; beat Sri Lanka in final
India bowlers came back well into the game after scoring only 116 for 7 in 20 overs with Titas Sadhu’s early burst derailing the Sri Lankan chase.
A scene from the India-Sri Lanka final match at Asian Games 2023, at Pingfeng Cricket Field in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, September 25, 2023. (ANI Photo)
INDIA registered a major feat at the Asian Games in Hangzhou in China on Monday (25) when their women’s cricket team defeated Sri Lanka in the final by 19 runs. It was the South Asian nation’s second gold at the major tournament after its shooters clinched the maiden gold by breaking the world record in the 100-metre air rifle category earlier in the day.
In the women’s title match, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and opted to bat in the T20 clash. They did not have the perfect batting display as only opener Smriti Mandhana (46 off 45) and Jemimah Rodrigues (42 off 40) making some runs. They added 73 runs for the second wicket in just over 11 overs but once the partnership was broken, the Women in Blue lost their way. They finished with 116 for 7 in 20 overs with no other India batter reaching the two-figure mark.
For Sri Lanka, three bowlers — Udeshika Prabodhani, Sugandika Kumari and Inoka Ranaweera — took two wickets each.
But the Indians hit back hard at the opponents, with 18-year-old pacer Titas Sadhu, who was playing only his second international game, striking with the new ball. She picked the top three Lankan batters, including captain Chamari Athapaththu, Anushka Sanjeewani and Vishmi Gunaratne, leaving the chasers reeling at 14 for 3 in 4.2 overs.
Middle-order batters Hasini Perera (25) and Nilakshi de Silva (23) tried to resurrect the innings by adding 36 runs for the fourth wicket in over five overs before Rajeshwari Gayakwad dismissed the former.
Oshadi Ranasinghe (19) then added 28 runs with de Silva but once that pair was broken, the Sri Lankan chase fell apart. The de Silva-Ranasinghe partnership consumed too many balls, leaving it hard for the incoming batters and at the end, Sri Lanka could manage 97 for 8 in their 20 overs.
Sadhu ended up with three wickets for just six runs in her four overs while Gayakwad took two. Opening pacers Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar and spinner Devika Vaidya claimed one wicket each.
Bangladesh beat two-time gold winners Pakistan to win the bronze match.