After the Indian women’s cricket team defeated Sri Lanka by 19 runs to clinch the gold medal in their first appearance at the Asian Games, Smriti Mandhana got emotional as the national anthem was played at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou. The 27-year-old spoke about how she and all the other team members were really happy to contribute to the medal tally of the Indian contingent at the Asiad 2023.
The gold medal match between India and Sri Lanka at the Asian Games 2023 was quite competitive for the majority of the day. The Indian women managed to put a below-par score of 116/7 on the board in their allotted 20 overs, even after Smriti Mandhana (46 off 45) and Jemimah Rodrigues (42 off 40) stitched a 73-run stand for the second wicket.
Follow: Asian Games 2023 Medal Tally
But, in the bowling department, Titas Sadhu took three early wickets in the powerplay to put Sri Lanka firmly on the back foot. Hasini Perera scored 25 off 22 to keep Sri Lanka interested in the final, but they could only score 96/7 at the very end, with the Indian bowlers producing an impressive team performance at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou.
Smriti Mandhana talked about the successful day on the field for India to ANI and said, “This is very special. We have seen this on TV. When Neeraj Chopra won the Gold, I had a match... the manner in which the National Anthem was played and India's National Flag went up, I think it was pretty special and I had tears in m y eyes... really happy that we could contribute to the medal tally of the Indian contingent... gold is gold... really happy that we gave our best today.”
The left-handed opening batter also discussed the potential of cricket at the Olympics after the Asian Games gold medal-winning performance. She was quoted as saying by Indian Express, “As cricketers, we watch a lot of Olympic sports and follow all the athletes that win medals for us (India). We could experience that a little today when the national anthem played, which was a special moment because we don’t get to experience that a lot despite being athletes. It would be amazing if it (cricket at the Olympics) happened because we would look forward to it as much as a World Cup.”