On Monday (September 25) India star batter Smriti Mandhana became a part of the historic moment when India Women’s team defeated Sri Lanka Women to bag the gold medal in the ongoing 2023 Asian Games. India breezed past Sri Lanka in the final with a 19-run win at the ZJUT Cricket Field, Hangzhou, China.
After the victory, Mandhana recalled the time when Neeraj Chopra scripted history by winning the gold medal in the javelin throw at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Mandhana was visibly emotional in the video that has been doing rounds on the internet.
“I had tears in my eyes when the national flag went up during the national anthem- this is very special, we have seen when Neeraj Chopra won the Gold, so happy to contribute to the country with the medal,” Mandhana told ANI.
India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur joined the team in the final after a two-match ban she received following her on-field behavior during the ODI series against Bangladesh. In her absence, Smriti Mandhana led the side to the final.
In the final, when the batters found it tough to score runs, Mandhana played a crucial 46-run knock from 45 balls with four boundaries and a six at a strike rate of 102.22. She was stopped from smashing her half-century by bowler Inoka Ranaweera in the 15th over.
After her, Jemimah Rodrigues played a 40-ball 42-run knock to take India to 116/7 in 20 overs. Later, the bowlers restrcted Chamari Athapaththu and Co. for just 97/8 in 20 overs.
Mandhana, in the quarterfinal match against Malaysia, scored 27 runs from 16 balls. In the semi-final against Bangladesh, she could just score seven runs from 12 balls, before playing a match-winning knock in the final.
Gouri Das is a cricket writer at FirstSportz. Despite always being a sporty kid, she disliked being inactive in one place for a long time to watch a match. But after the Ind vs Pak match of the 2016 Asia Cup, she rather got glued to the TV screen. That year she watched the major cricket tournaments, WWE matches, and the Olympics (especially Usain Bolt's races). After reading about the big names in tennis and becoming an ardent follower, she dreams of visiting Wimbledon one day.
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