In a thrilling final match at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, India triumphed over Sri Lanka, clinching the gold medal in the women’s cricket discipline. The game was a low-scoring affair, with India prevailing by 19 runs.
Batting first, India faced a challenging task as they managed to score only 116/7 in their allotted 20 overs. Smriti Mandhana, with a commendable 46 runs from 45 balls, and Jemimah Rodrigues, contributing 42 runs from 40 balls, were the standout performers for the Indian team.
Sri Lanka, in their pursuit of the target, encountered a tough battle but ultimately fell short at 97/8 in their 20 overs. Hasini Perera, with 25 runs from 22 balls, Nilakshi de Silva, scoring 23 runs from 34 balls, and Oshadi Ranasinghe, adding 19 runs from 26 balls, were among the runs for Sri Lanka. However, they lacked the necessary support from the lower-order batsmen to chase down the total.
This victory marked India’s second gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, following the remarkable achievement of the Men’s 10m Air Rifle team, who set a world record. India’s overall medal tally extended to 11 with this win.
Notably, this was India’s debut appearance in the cricket event at the Asian Games. In the previous inclusions in 2010 and 2014, Pakistan had secured the gold medal.
Sri Lanka had a turbulent start to their chase, losing three wickets in the span of a single run across 13 balls, leaving them at 14/3. However, Perera and Nilakshi’s resilient 36-run partnership kept their hopes alive, followed by a 28-run stand between Ranasinghe and Nilakshi. Nevertheless, as the required run rate escalated, Sri Lanka succumbed to the pressure, losing the next four wickets for just 18 runs.
For India, Titas Sadhu was the standout bowler, posting impressive figures of 3/6, while Rajeshwari Gayakwad also contributed with two wickets, conceding 20 runs.
In this historic victory, India’s women’s cricket team showcased their prowess on the Asian stage, securing a well-deserved gold medal and making the nation proud.