The 19th edition of the Asian Games got underway on 19th September 2023. Cricket made its return to the Asian Games after a gap of 9 years, having last played in the year 2014.
The quarter-final stages of the tournament got underway yesterday with India facing Malaysia in the first quarter-final. The game was reduced to a 15-overs-per-side contest courtesy of the rain-break. The Indian team managed to post a huge total (173/2) on the board in their quota of overs after being inserted to bat first by the Malaysian skipper Winifred Duraisingam.
Malaysia were just two balls into the run chase when the rains arrived, it was pouring down and it was persistent enough for the game to be eventually called off. As a result of the game being washed out the Indian women’s team progressed to the semi-finals of the tournament. They were lined up to face Hong Kong in the second quarter-finals on the same ground. But the persistent rains ensured that the second game also got washed out without a ball being bowled. As a result of a washout game, Pakistan became the second team to progress to the semi-finals of the tournament.
The Sri Lankan women’s team were all set to face Thailand in the third quarter-finals. Much like the story of the previous two quarter-finals the game began with the rain gods making their presence felt. The game was eventually reduced to a 15-overs-per-side contest.
Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu won the toss and opted to field first. The Thailand batters struggled to get going and as a result, they were eventually restricted to 78/7 in their quota of 15 overs. The lack of substantial partnerships cost them an opportunity to challenge the Sri Lankans. The 29-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Phannita Maya and Chanida Sutthiruang was the highest partnership of the innings for Thailand which played a crucial role in helping them go past the 50-run mark.
Chanida Sutthiruang (31 off 24 balls) scoring at a strike rate of 129.16 was the top performer with the bat for Thailand. Right-arm off-spinner Innoshi Priyadharshani (4/10) was the top performer with the ball for Sri Lanka. She picked up her maiden four-wicket haul.
𝐒𝐫𝐢 𝐋𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐚 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐞𝐦𝐢 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐬 🔥
Chasing 78 runs, they clinch an impressive 8-wicket win against Thailand 🙌🏻
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) September 22, 2023
Chasing a target of 79, the Sri Lankan openers got off to a good start, scoring over eighth runs per over. Thipatcha Putthawong provided a much-needed breakthrough for Thailand by getting the big wicket of the Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu to break the 54-run opening stand. Harshitha Samarawickrama joined wicket-keeper batter Anushka Sanjeewani at the crease. Unfortunately, the duo failed to take the side over the line as Thipatcha Putthawong dismissed wicket-keeper batter Anushka Sanjeewani to get her second wicket of the day.
The duo of Harshitha Samarawickrama and Vishmi Gunaratne saw their side over the line in the run chase with a 19-run partnership for the third wicket and with 25 balls to spare.
The Sri Lankan top-order chipped in with handy contributions with the bat. Left-arm spinner Thipatcha Putthawong (2/21) was the top performer with the ball for Thailand. As a result of clinical performance, the Sri Lankan side progressed to the semi-finals. The Bangladesh women’s team was all set to face Hong Kong in the fourth quarter-final. However, the game was eventually washed out courtesy of persistent rains. As a result of the match being washed out, Bangladesh progressed to the semi-finals on the basis of higher rankings in the ICC Women’s T20I rankings.