India women's cricket team avenged their recent defeat against Bangladesh with an eight-wicket win in the 2023 Asian Games semi-final at Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field, Hangzhou on Sunday. The Smriti Mandhana-led side dismissed Bangladesh for 51 in 17.5 overs with pacer Pooja Vastrakar claiming for a four-wicket haul, then chased down the target in 8.2 overs. India will face either Sri Lanka or Pakistan in tomorrow's gold medal match.(Scorecard | Full Coverage | Sports News)
Chasing a modest target of 52 runs, India started with a four from Mandhana. But the skipper (7 off 12) holed out at point in the 4th over, to Marufa Akter when India were at 19. Her opening partner, Shafali Verma also didn't last long, betting bowled by Fahima Khatun for 17 off 21 in the 8th over with 12 still needing.
Youngsters Jemimah Rodrigues (20 not out off 15) and Kanika Ahuja (1 not out off 2) then completed the task without fuse, reaching the target in 8.2 overs for a eight-wicket win with 70 balls to spare.
Earlier, asked to bowl first, India made short work of a Bangladesh line-up. With the very firs ball of the match, Vastrakar claimed the wicket of Shathi Rani, caught behind, for a golden duck. She was one of five Bangladhesi batters to get outwithout scoring. In fact, skipper Nagar Sultana (12 of 17) was the only one to reach double figures.
Pooja Vastrakar (4/17), who replaced Anjali Sarvani in the squad just before leaving India, was ably supported by Titas Sadhu, Amanjot Kaur, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Devika Vaidya -- who all claimed a wicket apiece in the rout.
The result was a sweet revenge for the Indian women. They were forced to play the second game on the trot without regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who is serving a two-match suspension -- for her angry public outburst and criticism of the quality of Bangladeshi umpiring while playing against them in an away series a few months back.
India, the strong favourites to win the gold medal, advanced to the semi-finals of the women's cricket competition at the Asian Games on Thursday after their quarter-final against Malaysia was abandoned due to rain. Put into bat, India racked up 173/2 in 15 overs after multiple rain interruptions. Opener Shafali Verma smashed five sixes in her 39-ball 67, while Jemimah Rodrigues remained unbeaten on 47 off 29 balls.
But only two balls were bowled in Malaysia's innings before the rain returned, eventually leading to the match being called off. India, world number four India, thus booked the semis spot thaks to their higher seeding in the tournament.
Indian men's team will also start their 2023 Asian Games campaign from the quarter-final stage. The face Group A winners on October 3.