By Srian Obeyesekere
Sri Lanka’s batswomen watched the Asian Gold Medal disintegrate before their eyes by reportedly overawed by the magnitude of the final in losing their cool to faltering despite a midway late rally by Hasini Perera in a 6, 4 and 6 25-run flurry off 22 crossing the boundary line on four occasions and two over the top in lifting Sri Lanka from 3 for 14 after 4.2 overs to 50 after 9.5 being fourth out at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Monday. Late rallies by Nilakshi de Silva 23 off 34 with a boundary and six and Oshadi Ranasinghe 19 from 26 (2×4) did revive the chase but it was not adequate to the desired target stuttering on 97 for 8 by the 20th as against India Women’s 116 off 20. That was on opening batter Smriti Mandhana’s run a ball 46 tucked with 4 boundaries and a six and one drop Jemimah Rodrigues’ 40 off 42 inclusive of 5 boundaries as India reached for 3 after 16.3 overs and despite the Lankans grabbing 4 wickets for 14 runs the Indians had done enough for a defendable score.
India’s victory thrust was carried by18-year old Titas Sadhu’s 3-wicket burst for 6 in an elevated role to the main team in recognition of her Player of the Match U-19 T20 World Champion exploits last January in the Indian teens downsizing England to the trophy glitter,
Despite skipper Chamari Athapaththu displaying her intent to put India under pressure taking 12 off Deepti Sharma, the rot set in with Anushka Sanjeewani and Vishmi Gunaratne caving in followed by Athapaththu slamming a length ball straight to cover where Deepti took a brilliant catch. It marked the writing on the wall for Sri Lanka despite the recovery bid by the threesome of Hasini Perera, Nilakshi de Silva and Oshadi Ranasinghe.
India Women 116/7 (20 Overs) 16.3 102/3
(Smriti Mandhana 46, Jemimah Rodrigues 42, Udeshika Prabodhani 2/16, Sugandika
Sri Lanka Women 97/8 (20 Overs)
(Hasini Perera 25, Nilakshi de Silva 23, Oshadi Ranasinghe 19, Chamari Athapaththu 12, Titas Sadhu 3/6, Rajeshwaei Gayakwad 2/20, Pooja Vastrakar 1/20, Deepti Sharma 1/25)