Sri Lanka Women take Silver after losing to Indian Women in Asian Games cricket final


Despite the best efforts of their middle-order batters, Sri Lanka Women had to settle for Silver after losing by 19 runs to India Women in the Asian Games Women’s cricket final at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou. 

The difficult batting conditions, where the ball sharply deviated unpredictably off the surface and spat out uneven bounce, made the target of 117 all the more challenging.

Sri Lanka put on a brave effort, after losing their first three wickets for 14 runs, with de Silva featuring in partnerships of 36 and 28, with Hasini Perera and Oshadhi Ranasinghe respectively, before being kept to 97 for 8 in 20 overs. 

Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu struck a six and boundary in the first over of the run chase, but that progress was stunted by Titas Sadhu, who bowled a double wicket maiden, dismissing Anushka Sanjeewani and Vishmi Gunaratne in the third over. 

Sadhu, returning for a second over, took the crucial wicket of Athapaththu, who failed to clear the fielder at extra-cover, as Sri Lanka slipped to 14 for 3 in the fifth over.  

Hasini Perera offered a glimmer of hope for Sri Lanka, striking four boundaries and two sixes but just like that also picked out the fielder at deep midwicket to be dismissed for 25. 

In the context of the conditions, Sri Lanka found themselves behind the game at the end of ten overs on 50 for 4 and requiring 67 more runs to win. 

However, De Silva and Ranasinghe shepherded Sri Lanka through much of that final phase, bringing the equation down to 39 off 24, with the former striking a four and a six.

The dismissal of de Silva, bowled by Pooja Vastrakar, then proved a significant blow to Sri Lanka, as India turned the screws through the final overs.   

Earlier, a second-wicket partnership of 73 between Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues took India to 89 for 1 in the 15th over, before Sri Lanka fought back to restrict India to 117 for 7 in their 20 overs. 

Opener Mandhana struck 46 off 45 deliveries with four boundaries and six, carrying India’s innings forward after Shafali verma was stumped for 9 off the bowling of Sugandika Kumari in the fourth over. 

She found a capable partner in Rodrigues, who hit five boundaries for 42 in 40 balls. 

Inoka Ranaweera broke that partnership in the 15th over, when Mandhana holed out at short fine leg and from there Sri Lanka picked up five more wickets to slow down the Indian scoring.

-daily mirror


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