Renuka Singh, Smriti Mandhana annihilate Sri Lanka to secure seventh Asia Cup title

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The eighth edition of the Women’s Asia Cup witnessed India embarrass Sri Lanka in a one-sided contest at the Sylhet International Stadium on Saturday, the 15th of October. It was business as usual for the Women in Blue as they clinched their seventh continental title following a comprehensive victory by eight wickets. The win was primarily set up by Renuka Singh’s 3/5, reducing Sri Lankans to an underwhelming 65 in the showpiece match.

Chasing a mediocre total, India got off to an explosive start, largely due to Smrithi Mandhana’s trailblazing innings. The surface had a bit to offer for the slower bowlers, leading to the downfall of Mandhana’s opening partner Shafali Verma and the tournament’s leading run-scorer Jemimah Rodrigues.

Despite those quick wickets, Mandhana continued on her merry way, playing some eye-pleasing strokes, guiding India to a comfortable victory along with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur with more than 11 overs to spare. The mercurial southpaw finished things off in style with a massive six, registering a scintillating 25-ball half century. The Sri Lankan spinners had a bit of a fight about them, but it was too low a total for them to redeem.

Renuka Singh and spinners strangle Sri Lankan batters in a clinical bowling performance

Earlier in the titular clash, Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu called it right at the toss and opted to bat first. Following a watchful start, the Sri Lankan skipper was on the receiving end of an unfortunate mix-up that saw her demise, following sharp work from Renuka Singh in the third over of the match.ย 

The Indian bowling prodigy returned in the following over to wreak havoc as Sri Lanka’s batting order collapsed like a greased-up pre-teen on a waterslide. Renuka’s over saw Sri Lanka lose three wickets on three consecutive deliveries as the Women in Blue combined for a team hat-trick.

The procession did not stop there as the underdogs were reduced to 16/5 in the last over of the field restrictions. The islanders never recovered from those telling blows earlier in the innings and scraped to a lowly 65/9 in their 20 overs. Renuka, who opened the floodgates for India, shone brightest with 3/5 in her three overs. Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Sneh Rana also impressed with two wickets each as a harrowing batting display from Sri Lanka saw just two batters reach double figures for the innings.

Here is how Twitter reacted to India’s memorable victory in the Asia Cup final:

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