India’s men’s cricket team humbled Bangladesh by nine wickets on Friday, and advanced to the gold medal match in Hangzhou. Their quest for the Asian Games title, in their inaugural appearance, is now within reach.
The stage is set for Saturday’s title-decider, where India’s youthful yet formidable team awaits the winner between Pakistan and Afghanistan, who are set to face off later.
India won the toss and opted to field first, and their spinners played a pivotal role in dismantling the Bangladeshi batting lineup. Bangladesh struggled right from the beginning, managing only 21/3 at the end of the powerplay after six overs. The Indian spin trio, consisting of Sai Kishore, Washington Sundar, and Tilak Varma, maintained relentless pressure, resulting in Bangladesh being reduced to 40/4 after ten overs. Pavez Hossain Emon was the top scorer for Bangladesh, contributing 23 runs from 32 balls.
Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Bangladesh reached a total of 96 runs within their allotted 20 overs while losing nine wickets. Sai Kishore stood out as India’s premier bowler, finishing with impressive figures of 3/12, while Washington Sundar claimed 2/15. Tilak Varma, Arshdeep Singh, Shahbaz Ahmed, and Ravi Bishnoi each chipped in with a wicket to stifle the Bangladeshi batting lineup.
It is worth noting that Twenty20 cricket has featured at the Asian Games twice before, in Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014, with Bangladesh and then Sri Lanka emerging as champions. India, however, did not participate in those editions and is now making its debut at the Asian Games.