India secured their second gold medal in the ongoing Asian Games as the women’s cricket team emerged victorious in the final against 2014 bronze medalists, Sri Lanka, on Monday.
In pursuit of a target of 117 runs, Sri Lanka was restricted to a total of 93/7 in their allotted 20 overs. India clinched the victory by a margin of 22 runs, marking their historic first-ever gold in cricket at the Asian Games.
India won the toss and elected to bat first at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou. Their explosive opener, Shafali Varma, fell early in the innings, getting stumped off a delivery by Sungandika Kumari.
Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues stiched the innings together with a solid 73-run partnership. However, despite losing just one wicket by the 14th over, India struggled to maintain a good run rate.
Inoka Ranaweera dismissed Mandhana, triggering a collapse in the Indian batting order. The score plummeted from 89/1 to 116/7, marking a swift decline for India. Both Mandhana and Jemimah were dismissed in the 40s, and India concluded their innings at 116/7 after 20 overs.
Sri Lanka encountered a setback as they lost their top three batsmen, including skipper Chamari Athapaththu, within a mere 26 balls. Titas Sadhu, who had only recently made her T20I debut in the semifinal match against Bangladesh, was the architect of this early damage, claiming all three wickets in her first two overs.
While Sri Lanka managed to recover briefly with two small partnerships, they struggled to maintain the required run rate. The pressure imposed by the Indian bowlers paid off as Sri Lanka lost wickets at crucial junctures.
Titas Sadhu finished with impressive figures of 3-6 in her four overs. India managed to restrict Sri Lanka to 97/8, securing victory and the gold medal by a margin of 19 runs.