Hangzhou, 24 September: Led by pacer Pooja Vastrakar’s four-wicket haul, India defeated Bangladesh by eight wickets to move into the final of the Asian Games women’s cricket tournament in Hangzhou, China on Sunday.

At the Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field, in the first semi-final Bangladesh opted to bat first but were bowled out for a paltry 51 in 17.5 overs. Smriti Mandhana’s side chased the total down in 8.2 overs to reach the final.

The win assured India their maiden medal in the Asian Games cricket tournament. Cricket was played in the 2010 and 2014 editions of the continental event but the India did not send a team for the event,

Bangladesh’s decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired. They had two setbacks in the very first over after Pooja Vastrakar dismissed both openers. The Indians picked up two more wickets before the powerplay ended to reduce Bangladesh to 21/4 in six overs.

Bangladesh got into further trouble with two run-outs in the eighth over, which also saw skipper Nigar Sultana walk back to the dressing room. Vastrakar returned to bowl in the 13th over and picked up a wicket off the final ball of her spell, registering figures of 4/17 in four overs.

Bangladesh could only manage 51 runs in 17.5 overs, their lowest total against India in women’s T20 Internationals.

India did not sail smoothly in the run chase, with Smriti Mandhana departing in the fourth over for seven runs. The Bangladeshi spinners made good use of the conditions to create more chances but couldn’t capitalise.

Shafali Verma (17 off 21 balls) kept the scorecard ticking alongside Jemimah Rodrigues (20* off 15 balls). Fahima Khatun got the better of Shafali Verma as the Indian attempted to finish the game soon, but Jemimah Rodrigues took India over the line in the company of Kanika Ahuja.

India will face the winner of the second semi-final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the final on Monday.

Brief scores

Bangladesh 51 all out in 17.5 overs (Nigar Sultana 12, Pooja Vastrakar 4/17) , India 52/2 in 8.2 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 20*, Fahima Khatun 1/7)


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