Titas Sadhu’s destructive spell of fast bowling earned India Women a gold medal in the cricket competition at the Asian Games on Monday.
In the final in Hangzhou, India edged out Sri Lanka by 19 runs in a low-scoring match.
On a pitch difficult for batting, the Indian team struggled to 116/7 in 20 overs, but it was just about a par score. Then Titas, who is just four days shy of her 19th birthday, bowled a devastating first spell and finished with superb figures of 4-1-6-3 to play a big role in restricting Sri Lanka to 97/8 in 20 overs.
She had an able ally in leg-spinner Devika Vaidya (4-0-15-1), who kept a tight leash on the islanders. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3-0-20-2) and off-spinner Deepti Sharma (4-0-25-1) started off badly but were on target during the back-end as the Indian women always looked in complete control.
Titas, who comes from Chinsurah in Bengal, said “staying calm” and “playing according to the plan” was the key.
“We all had a clear plan of what we had to do. Obviously, we got a good momentum... We had discussed during the innings break that we would keep calm and stick to what we had decided,” Titas said. “The way we came back into the match showed exactly that,” she added.
Titas got three wickets in her first two overs, including the opposition skipper and their best batter Chamari Athapaththu (12).
This was only the second T20I that Titas was playing.
India on Monday were led by Harmanpreet Kaur, who couldn’t play the first
two games because of suspension.
The women have done it, it’s over to the men now. Jemimah Rodrigues, who made a crucial 42 off 40 balls on Monday, said: “We have spoken to the men’s team. We have told them that we are bringing the gold; you guys also bring it.”
With inputs from PTI