HANGZHOU: Pakistan Women’s cricket team crashed out of the race to win gold at the Asian Games 2023 as they lost to Sri Lanka by six wickets in the semi-finals at Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field on Sunday.
The Sri Lanka Women’s team opted to bowl first and struck early as Sidra Ameen departed in the third over with a mere 11 runs on the board.
Shawaal Zulfiqar was the next one to go, after stitching a brief 31-ball 19-run partnership with Omaima Sohail. Shawaal Zulfiqar scored 16 off 27 and was followed by Omaima Sohail to the pavilion on the next ball leaving Pakistan reeling at 30-3 in 8.1 overs.
Pakistan Women’s team never recovered and managed to add a meagre 45 runs with the loss of six more wickets, making a total of 75-9 in their allocated 20 overs.
Shawaal Zulfiqar top scored with 16 runs and was one of the only three batters to reach double figures.
Udeshika Prabodhani led the bowling for Sri Lanka with the figures of 3-21, while, Kavisha Dilhari managed to take two wickets.
Sri Lanka Women’s team started their chase cautiously and lost their first wicket in the form of captain Chamari Athapaththu at a total of 17 in four overs.
Diana Baig then removed Anushka Sanjeewani, while Umm-e-Hani handed Vishmi Gunaratne a golden duck to reduce Sri Lanka to 35-3.
Harshitha Samarawickrama and Nilakshi de Silva, then knitted a solid 35-run partnership to put Sri Lanka in the driving seat, before the former perished courtesy of a run-out.
With only six runs needed from four overs, Nilakshi de Silva quickly ended the game in style with a six to lead Sri Lanka to a six-wicket win to qualify for the finals of the Asian Games.
Nilakshi de Silva scored an unbeaten 18 off 31, while Harshitha Samarawickrama top-scored for Sri Lanka with 23 off 41.
Prior to that, India Women’s team defeated Bangladesh Women’s Team in the first semi-final of the Asian Games by eight wickets after booking them for a mere 51 runs. They successfully chased the total in the ninth over.
Notably, the Pakistan women’s team entered the tournament as the defending champions, having won gold medals in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games, however, this year they will play Bangladesh for the bronze medal on September 25.
Meanwhile, India and Sri Lanka will square off in the final of the women’s cricket event of the Asian Games on the same day.