The Indian Women’s Team proved their favourites tag with an impressive win in the finals of Asian Games 2023 against Sri Lanka played at the Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field, Hangzhou on 25th September 2023.
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and decided to bat first. Smriti Mandhana looked in decent touch with a lovely boundary in first over itself. On the other hand, Shafali Varma struggled with her timing and eventually got out with lovely stumping by Sanjeewani. Jemimah Rodrigues came to the crease looking in good touch putting pressure on Lankan bowlers. At the end of the first six overs, Indian women 35 for 1.
After the field restrictions, Rodrigues and Mandhana kept the scoreboard ticking taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries. Mandhana looked in decent touch against disciplined Sri Lankan bowling. Ranaweera struck to get rid of Mandhana with a simple catch to Prabodhani at short third man. Mandhana and Rodrigues added 73 runs for the 2nd wicket.
Richa Ghosh was given promotion to number 4 but could not do anything substantial. The Sri Lankan bowlers kept picking wickets in death overs not allowing them to score runs freely. The Indian team lost wickets Richa Ghosh, Harmanpreet Kaur, Pooja Vastkar, and Jemimah Rodrigues and ended with the wicket of Deepti Sharma. At the end of 20 overs, the Indian women’s team posted 116 for 7.
Chasing 117 runs to win, Sri Lankan captain Chamari Atthapttu began with some lovely shots in the first over. Titas Sadhu showed her class with wickets of Sanjeewani and Vishmi Gunaratne putting pressure on Lankan batting. Sadhu struck once more to get rid of Lankan captain Chamari as Deepti Sharma took a stunning catch. Hasini Perera hit two lovely shots as Sri Lanka ended the first six overs at 28 for 3.
Hasini Perera took the attack to Rajeshwari Gayakwad before the experienced spinner got a much-needed wicket of Perera as Vastkar took an easy catch. Perera and Nilakshi De Silva added 36 runs for the 4th wicket. Nilakshi de Silva and Ranasinghe showed some promise with attacking shots to put pressure on Indian bowling.
Titas Sadhu was the pick of bowlers grabbing 3 wickets for 6 runs in her 4 overs, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastkar, and Devika Vaidya grabbed 1 wicket each and Rajeshwari Gayakwad took 2 wickets. Vastrkar got the big wicket of de Silva to leave Sri Lanka in big trouble. It was a tall ask for the Lankan batters to score runs on a tough batting wicket. Indian women’s team won the match by 19 runs and won the historic gold medal for the country.
Indian Women’s Team Performance in Asian Games 2023
The Indian Women’s Team had a brilliant performance in the Asian Games 2023. They had an easy outing in their first game against Malaysia. After being asked to bat first, the Indian women’s team posted 173 for 2 in 15 overs as Varma scored 67 along with Jemimah Rodrigues 47. Malaysian innings lasted for 1 delivery as India made it into the semi-finals due to higher rankings.
It was an impressive bowling performance as the Indian women’s team bundled out Bangladesh for just 51. Pooja Vastkar 4 wickets along with Titas Sadhu’s impressive debut. Indian team chased down the target losing 2 wickets.
Jemimah Rodrigues finished as the leading runs in the tournament with 109 runs from 3 matches. Pooja Vastkar picked up 5 wickets while Titas Sadhu grabbed 4 wickets helping the Indian team to become champions of the Asian Games 2023.