The Indian women’s cricket team etched their names in the annals of history at the Asian Games 2023 on Monday, securing a momentous victory by defeating Sri Lanka by 19 runs in the final. This remarkable achievement marked the Indian cricket team’s inaugural participation in the cricket events of the Asian Games, with the women’s team clinching the top spot on the podium through a stellar all-around performance.
While cricket was included in the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014, neither the men’s nor the women’s Indian cricket team had participated in the event until now. Opting to bat first after winning the toss, the Indian team welcomed back captain Harmanpreet Kaur after her two-match suspension. Following the early dismissal of Shafali Verma, opener Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues steadied the innings.
Inoka Ranaweera provided Sri Lanka with the much-needed breakthrough, dismissing Smriti for a well-made 46 off 45 balls, comprising four boundaries and a six. At 89/2 in 14.5 overs, the partnership of 73 runs between Mandhana and Rodrigues came to an end. This wicket triggered a collapse in the Indian innings, with the exception of Rodrigues, who contributed 42 runs from 40 balls, including five fours.
No other batter could withstand the Sri Lankan side’s pressure, and India concluded their innings at 116/7 in 20 overs. For Sri Lanka, Kumari (2/30), Ranaweera (2/21), and Udeshika Prabodhani (2/16) were among the wicket-takers. In their pursuit of 117 runs, Sri Lanka faced difficulties against medium-pacer Titas Sandhu, who removed the top order, including skipper Chamari Athapaththu (12), Anushka Sanjeewani (1), and Vishmi Gunaratne (0), reducing SL to 14/3 in 4.2 overs.
Gold for India 🥇
Harmanpreet Kaur’s side beat Sri Lanka in the thrilling #AsianGames Women’s T20I Final 🔥
— ICC (@ICC) September 25, 2023
Hasini Perera and Nilakshi de Silva started the rebuilding process for Sri Lanka, taking them past the 50-run mark in 9.3 overs. However, Rajeshwari Gayakwad swung the tide in India’s favor by dismissing Hasini for 25 off 22 balls, featuring four boundaries and a six. At 50/4 in 9.5 overs, Sri Lanka faced an uphill battle.
From thereon, spinners Deepti Sharma and Devika Vaidya tightened the screws on Sri Lanka’s run-scoring. But Nilakshi and Oshadi Ranasinghe mounted a counterattack with some boundaries, leaving Sri Lanka with 43 runs to get in the final five overs.
However, Pooja Vastrakar, India’s standout performer in the semifinal with the ball, removed Nilakshi for 23 off 34 balls, terminating a hard-fought 28-run partnership. Sri Lanka found themselves at 78/5 in 16.1 overs.
Deepti also accounted for Ranasinghe, who valiantly contributed 19 runs from 26 balls. At 86/6 in 17.4 overs, Sri Lanka was left with a daunting task of scoring 30 runs in the final two overs. Unfortunately for them, they fell 19 runs short of India’s total, securing a historic victory for the Indian women’s cricket team.
Here is how the netizens reacted to the vitory of the Indian team:
🇮🇳🥇 Indian women’s team etched their names in history! The unstoppable Women In Blue conquered the Asian Games 2022, remaining unbeaten and effortlessly claiming the coveted gold medal.
👏 This is India’s second gold medal in Asian Games 2022.
— The Bharat Army (@thebharatarmy) September 25, 2023
The incredible women’s cricket team of India strike GOLD for the first time ever, clinching a thrilling victory against Sri Lanka! 🥇🎉 Let’s celebrate these remarkable women who’ve made India proud at #AsianGames2022! 🥳👏 #Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/0xUrGdgfbA
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) September 25, 2023
INDIA WINS GOLD MEDAL IN WOMEN’S CRICKET IN ASIAN GANES….!!! 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/bCWCy7b234
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) September 25, 2023
From stumps to stars! 🇮🇳🥇
India’s unstoppable women’s cricket team 🏏 smashes boundaries and brings home GOLD at the #AsianGames!
These fierce athletes have bowled us over with their talent and determination. Let’s cheer for these game-changers who’ve scripted history!… pic.twitter.com/7XK7WOnGMC
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) September 25, 2023
India Women vs Sri Lanka Women Highlights, Asian Games 2023 final: IND W beat SL W to clinch historic Asiad cricket gold🇮🇳🇮🇳
India Women vs Sri Lanka Women Highlights: India Women successfully defended 116 to beat Sri Lanka Women by 19 runs and win a historic gold medal in… pic.twitter.com/QtF0MJYRx8
— Siddhant Agnihotri : Founder,Study Glows (@SiddhantAgnih12) September 25, 2023
— Ridhima Pathak (@PathakRidhima) September 25, 2023
Asian Games gold medalists when women’s cricket was played:
2010 – Pakistan🇵🇰 (IND didn’t play)
2014 – Pakistan🇵🇰 (IND didn’t play)
2023 – India🇮🇳 (PAK didn’t win any medal) pic.twitter.com/wv6rQqpuUu
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) September 25, 2023