Asian Games 2023: India Women cruise to Finals with resounding victory over Bangladesh Women in Semi-Final
With this win, India Women have become the first team to qualify for the Asian Games Final in cricket.
In a stunning display of dominance on the cricket field, the Indian women's cricket team exacted sweet revenge for their Asia Cup final defeat, by decimating Bangladesh with an emphatic eight-wicket victory in the 2023 Asian Games semi-final clash at the picturesque Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou. Led by the formidable Smriti Mandhana, the Indian side showcased their prowess, first restricting Bangladesh to a meager 51 runs in 17.5 overs.
Thanks in large part to the brilliant performance of pacer Pooja Vastrakar, who clinched a remarkable four-wicket haul. The Indian juggernaut then efficiently chased down the modest target in a mere 8.2 overs, leaving an astounding 70 balls to spare. Chasing the relatively humble target of 52 runs, India embarked on their journey with a boundary from the blade of the skipper herself, Mandhana. However, the India Women opener's cameo came to an end in the 4th over when she was caught at point for a valiant 7 runs off 12 deliveries.
Her opening partner, the explosive Shafali Verma, also made a brief appearance before being castled by Fahima Khatun for a 17-run contribution from 21 balls in the 8th over, leaving India with a mere 12 runs left to achieve. The responsibility then fell upon the young shoulders of Jemimah Rodrigues and Kanika Ahuja who scored unbeaten 20 and 1 respectively, coolly completed the task without any fuss, guiding India to a resounding eight-wicket triumph.
In the initial stages of the game, when India was tasked with bowling first, the Indian team showcased their mettle by swiftly dismantling the Bangladesh batting lineup. Right from the very first delivery of the match, Pooja Vastrakar delivered a decisive blow, claiming the prized wicket of Shathi Rani, who departed for a golden duck after being caught behind. Bangladesh struggled to find their footing, with a staggering five batters failing to score a single run.
India favourites to clinch the Asian Games title
India, who entered the competition as strong favourites to clinch the gold medal, had earlier advanced to the semi-finals of the women's cricket competition at the Asian Games after their quarter-final encounter against Malaysia was abandoned due to persistent rain. Meanwhile, the Indian men's cricket team is gearing up to commence their 2023 Asian Games campaign, starting from the quarter-final stage, where they will face the winners of Group A on October 3rd. The cricketing world now eagerly awaits the grand showdown as India prepares to battle either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh in tomorrow's gold medal match.