In a cricket match characterized by a slow and challenging pitch in Hangzhou, Sri Lanka demonstrated their dominance over Pakistan to secure a place in the final of the Asian Games. The target set by Pakistan, a mere 76 runs, was successfully chased by Sri Lanka, although it took them until the 17th over to seal the victory. Sri Lanka’s win earned them a spot in the gold-medal contest against India, who had earlier defeated Bangladesh in a one-sided, low-scoring match.
Opting to field first in the second semi-final, Sri Lanka’s bowlers immediately exerted pressure on Pakistan’s batters. Pakistan struggled to find their rhythm and managed to score only 75 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Right-arm medium pacer Udeshika Prabodhani was the standout performer with three wickets, while young offspinner Kavisha Dilhari contributed with two wickets. Inoshi Priyadharshani, Achini Kulasuriya, and Inoka Ranaweera each claimed a wicket, further stifling Pakistan’s efforts. The fact that only three Pakistani batters reached double-digit scores highlighted their struggles to accumulate runs.
In response, Sri Lanka’s innings got off to a decent start, with Chamari Athapaththu effectively using sweep shots to counteract the spin on the challenging surface. After scoring two boundaries, Athapaththu mistimed a slog sweep and was dismissed for 14 off 19 balls. Opener Anushka Sanjeewani also fell during the powerplay, managing a 15 off 13 balls. However, Harshitha Samarawickrama, batting at number three, formed a crucial partnership of 35 runs in 51 deliveries with Nilakshi de Silva for the third wicket, stabilizing Sri Lanka’s innings. Samarawickrama, despite consuming 41 balls, played a vital knock of 23, while de Silva’s unbeaten 18 ensured that Sri Lanka successfully chased down the target with 21 balls to spare and six wickets in hand.
Pakistan’s bowlers, including Sadia Iqbal, Daina Baig, and Umm-e-Hani, managed to take wickets, but their efforts were not enough to prevent Sri Lanka from advancing to the final. Sri Lanka is set to face Bangladesh in a third-place play-off match on Monday.