In an electrifying showdown on the cricketing turf, India Women displayed their prowess, posting a decent total of 116/7 on the scoreboard. Yet, the pitch conditions were far from favourable for chasing, with treacherous turns posing a formidable challenge for the opposition. Opting to bat first, India Women faced an early setback with the departure of the explosive Shafali Verma. However, a stellar partnership between Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues breathed life into the innings, adding a resilient 73 runs to the tally.
Alas, both Mandhana and Jemimah fell short of their respective half-centuries, and the Sri Lankan bowlers clawed their way back into contention by snatching wickets in the dying overs. Sri Lanka, buoyed by their brilliant fielding display, shone brightly on the field. The wicketkeeper, Anushka Sanjeewani, showcased her mettle with a pair of exceptional catches and a stunning run-out on the final delivery of the innings. With the pitch tailor-made for spin, the Indian spinners eagerly seized the opportunity to exploit these bowler-friendly conditions.
As the chase began, Sri Lanka wasted no time, amassing 12 runs in the very first over, courtesy of a powerful six struck by Chamari Athapaththu against the formidable Deepti Sharma. However, it was Titas Sadhu who emerged as the standout performer with the ball for India, clinching three crucial wickets that sent tremors through the Sri Lankan batting lineup. Her mesmerizing spell, boasting figures of 4-1-6-2, choked the Lankan batters, ultimately leaving them 19 runs shy of the target. The pitch may not have been the friendliest for batting, but India showcased their mettle in these challenging conditions, emerging triumphant in the Gold Medal match of the Asian Games 2022.
India’s journey to victory was further fortified by the return of the indomitable Harmanpreet Kaur, who was back in action following a two-match suspension stemming from her impassioned exchange with match officials during a recent series against Bangladesh. Both teams approached the contest with unwavering determination, having comfortably sailed through one-sided semifinal clashes. Yet, it was India who seized the coveted Gold medal in a thrilling showdown.