India won their second gold medal of their ongoing Asian Games when the women’s cricket team defeated 2014 bronze medallist Sri Lanka in the final on Monday.
Chasing 117, Sri Lanka were limited to 93/7 in 20 overs as India won by 22 runs to win their first ever cricket gold in Asiad.
Sri Lanka though made a positive start to the chase with their captain Chamari Athapaththu belting a six and a four in the very first over, bowled by Deepti Sharma.
However, Titas Sadhu three wickets in two overs to leave them struggling at 14/3 in 4.2 overs.
However, a brief recovery followed with Hasini Perera (25) and Nilakshi de Silva (23) reviving the chase. Their dismissals though swung the game in India’s favour again.
Oshadi Ranasinghe kept the fight alive but her exit on 19 ended Sri Lanka’s hopes.
Harmanpreet Kaur returned from her two-match ban to lead India in the final played at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou.
India opted to bat first and lost big-hitting opener Shafali Verma (9) in the fourth over after a slow start.
On a slow pitch that was crumbling, the duo of Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues led India’s slow but solid progress and added 73 runs before being separated.
Inoka Ranaweera broke the stand with the scalp of Mandhana who walked back after scoring 46 off 45 with the help of four fours and a six.
Richa Ghosh was promoted considering the death overs to inject some quick runs and she managed to hit a boundary but fell on 9 becoming Ranaweera’s second victim.
Richa’s dismissal triggered a collapse with India losing five wickets for the addition of 14 runs and were kept to 116/7 in 20 overs. Rodrigues scored 42 off 40 and struck five fours before being dismissed in the last over.
Both India and Sri Lanka registered dominating victories in their respective semifinal match on Sunday to set up the gold medal clash.
India brushed aside Bangladesh while Sri Lanka got the better of Pakistan who had won gold in 2010 and 2014.
While this was India’s maiden appearance in women’s cricket at the Asiad, Sri Lanka were participating for the second time having won the bronze in 2014.
Earlier on Monday, Bangladesh defeated Pakistan to clinch bronze.