Sylhet: India outplayed hosts Sri Lanka by eight wickets to cruise to victory in Sylhet on Saturday to clinch their seventh Asia Cup title.
India’s bowlers, led by pacer Renuka Singh (3/5), made light work of Sri Lanka. Harmanpreet’s side clinched the Asia Cup title with more than 11 overs to spare.
After restricting Sri Lanka to a modest 65/9, Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten 51 from just 25 balls meant that India barely broke a sweat to emerge winners of this competition for the seventh time.
After opting to bat, the Sri Lankan top order was no match for Renuka’s swing and pace. The 26-year-old’s fiery first spell all but ended Lankan hopes as they finished the powerplay with half the side back in the pavilion.
Poor running also cost Sri Lanka dearly with captain Chamari Athapaththu and Anushka Sanjeewani falling short of their ground following miscommunication in the middle.
Renuka was ably supported by her spin attack, which also had a field day with the ever-consistent Sneh Rana and Rajeshwari Gayakwad bagging a couple of wickets each. The tone, though, was set by Deepti Sharma’s mean spell (0/7 in 4 overs) at the start of the innings. Harmanpreet’s captaincy was at her best, be it her aggressive field placements or the clever rotation of spinners on a slow track as Sri Lanka were unable to build any sort of momentum.
There was a late flurry from Inoka Ranaweera, one of two Sri Lankans to reach double figures. Smriti was in a hurry to finish the innings with a flurry of early boundaries putting India on course to victory. Ranaweera’s left-arm spin accounted for the early dismissal of Shafali Verma.
Jemimah Rodrigues was flummoxed by a delivery that almost died on the pitch. Still, Smriti’s onslaught continued and finished proceedings with a massive six as India lay down their marker for the 2023 World Cup in South Africa.