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Lankan Women Cricketers close to winning Gold

by Gayan Abeykoon
September 25, 2023 1:30 am 0 comment
Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu dismissing a Pakistan batswoman. Pic by Thusith Wijedoru (NOC)

For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka women’s cricket, they have a chance of winning a gold medal at the Asian Games. This match will be played today at 11.30 am Sri Lanka take on India at the Sheijang University Cricket Ground in Hangzhou.

In the second semi-final played yesterday, Sri Lanka team defeated the Pakistan women’s team by 6 wickets and entered the gold medal fight, and India, who joined the cricket event for the first time in the history of Asian Games,entered the final by defeating Bangladesh by eight wickets in the first semi-final. It is noteworthy that the Pakistan women’s team, which lost to Sri Lanka, won the cricket gold medal in the last two tournaments.

It is special that this is the first time that the Sri Lanka women’s cricket team is competing for an Asian Games gold medal. This is the second time that the Sri Lankan women’s team has participated in the Asian Games, and won the bronze medal in the 2014 Games.

Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapattu, who won the toss gave the Pakistan team the opportunity to bat, and at the end of 20 overs, they could score only 75 runs for the loss of nine wickets. Pursuing that goal, the Sri Lankan players achieved the winning target in 16.3 overs for the loss of four wickets.

Harshita Madhavi scored 23 runs, Nilakshi de Silva not out on 18 runs, Anushka Sanjeevani 15 runs and Chamari Athapattu 14 runs in the innings.

Zulfiqar Shawal scored 16 runs from 27 balls and was the top scorer in Pakistan’s innings, while Udeshika Prabodhani took 3 wickets for 21 runs in 4 overs. Kaweesha Dilhari took 2 wickets, Achini Kulasuriya, Inoka Ranaweera and Inoshi Priyadarshani took a wicket each.

Meanwhile, Harshita Madhavi, who was the highest run scorer in the Sri Lankan innings yesterday, got injured while batting and received medical treatment after the match. As a result, her participation in today’s match is uncertain.

After yesterday’s match, captain Chamari Athapattu said that although India is ahead in the rankings, it is just a number for her and the winner will be decided by the team’s performance today. , she said that it is an advantage that the teams consist of seniors and freshers.

Pakistan and Bangladesh, who lost in the semifinals, will compete for the bronze medal today.

Rugby team lose both matches

Due to an international ban, the Sri Lankan team, entered the competition under the Asian Olympic flag. Starting the rugby event yesterday, the Sri Lankan team competed in the ‘B’ group and played the first match against the Chinese Taipei where the Taipei team won 22-7. At the end of the first half of the match, Taipei team scored 12 points, while Sri Lanka scored 7 points. However, in the second half, the Taipei team scored another 10 points, the Sri Lankan team did not get a chance to score. Then the Sri Lankan team played against South Korea yesterday afternoon and lost that match as well. The score was 22-7. in favour of South Korea.

Beach volleyball team out

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka beach volleyball players, who joined the round of 16, had to withdraw from the tournament after losing 2-0 to Taiwan.

Starting the swimming event in which three Sri Lankan swimmers are taking part, Matthew Abeysinghe joined the sixth race of the 100m freestyle preliminary round yesterday and finished the race in 51.18 seconds, and among 8 swimmers, he got the 7th place. Due to this, Mathew lost the chance to enter the final. Nadila Netwiru, who joined the artistic gymnastics event yesterday, finished 5th with a total score of 69.964. Only the first two players of this event will enter the final.

Meanwhile, in the men’s Lightweight Double Sculls ‘B’ category, Mohammad Nafiran and Nuwan Sampath finished third in the rowing event. Nanayakkara finished 9th.Susal Thevjan, who took part in the chess event, defeated the Hong Kong player in the first game and lost to the Uzbeskistan player in the second game.

First gold medal for China

The host China managed to win the first gold medal, starting the medal battle of the 19th Asian Games. Zou Jiaqi and Qiu Xiuping won the gold medal in the women’s lightweight double sculls event of the rowing tournament, while Uzbekistan won the silver medal and Indonesia won the bronze medal.

Meanwhile, the organizers held the opening ceremony of the tournament last night in a grand manner at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium or Big Lotus in Hangzhou, China under the chairmanship of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Sri Lankan team led by golfer Anura Rohana and athlete Gayanthika Abeyratne joined the opening ceremony.

Niroshan Priyankara reporting from Hangzhou, China

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