Indian Women Create History, Win Asian Games Cricket Gold Beating Sri Lanka
At the ongoing Asian Games, India secured their second gold medal as the women’s cricket team triumphed over Sri Lanka in the final.
In pursuit of a target of 117 runs, Sri Lanka could only manage 97/8 in their allotted 20 overs. India emerged victorious by a margin of 19 runs, marking their first-ever gold medal in cricket at the Asian Games.
Sri Lanka got off to a promising start in their chase, with their captain Chamari Athapaththu hitting a six and a four in the very first over, bowled by Deepti Sharma. However, Titas Sadhu made an impactful contribution, taking three wickets in just two overs, which left Sri Lanka struggling at 14/3 in 4.2 overs.
Despite the early setbacks, Sri Lanka experienced a brief resurgence, thanks to Hasini Perera (25) and Nilakshi de Silva (23), who worked to revive the chase. However, their dismissals shifted the momentum back in India’s favor.
Oshadi Ranasinghe fought valiantly, but her departure after scoring 19 runs dashed Sri Lanka’s hopes.
In the final match at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou, Harmanpreet Kaur made a comeback after her two-match ban to lead the Indian team. India chose to bat first and faced the early loss of big-hitting opener Shafali Verma (9) in the fourth over following a slow start.
On a sluggish pitch, Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues formed a resilient partnership, adding 73 runs before being separated. Inoka Ranaweera finally broke the stand by dismissing Mandhana, who contributed 46 runs off 45 balls, featuring four fours and a six.
Richa Ghosh was promoted to inject some quick runs in the death overs, managing to hit a boundary but falling for 9 runs, becoming Ranaweera’s second victim.
Richa’s dismissal marked the beginning of a collapse for India, as they lost five wickets while adding just 14 runs to their total. They finished their innings at 116/7 in 20 overs, with Rodrigues contributing 42 runs off 40 balls, featuring five fours before being dismissed in the final over.
In the semifinal matches held on Sunday, both India and Sri Lanka secured convincing victories to earn their spots in the gold medal clash. India defeated Bangladesh, while Sri Lanka triumphed over Pakistan, who had previously won gold in 2010 and 2014.
This marked India’s inaugural appearance in women’s cricket at the Asian Games, whereas Sri Lanka participated for the second time, having previously won the bronze in 2014.
On the same day, Bangladesh emerged victorious over Pakistan in the bronze medal match.