The standout performer of the match was the young Titas Sadhu, who was just four days away from her 19th birthday. She bowled a sensational first spell, finishing with remarkable figures of 4-1-6-3, which played a crucial role in limiting Sri Lanka to 97 for eight in their allotted 20 overs. Leg-spinner Devika Vaidya (4-0-15-1) provided valuable support and maintained pressure on the Sri Lankan batting lineup. Despite a shaky start by left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3-0-20-2) and off-spinner Deepti Sharma (4-0-25-1), they regained control later in the game, establishing dominance for the Indian women’s team.
Although the quality of cricket was affected by the challenging pitch conditions, Titas Sadhu’s pace and accurate deliveries accounted for three wickets in her first two overs, including the crucial dismissal of Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu (12), their top batter. Titas Sadhu’s emergence as a fast bowler is promising for the Indian women’s team, who have been missing a genuine pace bowler since the retirement of Jhulan Goswami.
Recognizing the difficult pitch, Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur initially introduced off-spinner Deepti Sharma. However, Chamari Athapaththu took the attack to the bowlers, hitting a six and a boundary off the first over. Harmanpreet then reintroduced her frontline pacers, and Titas Sadhu, playing only her second T20I, made a significant impact by dismissing Anushka Sanjeewani (1) and Vishmi Gunaratne (0) in quick succession. She also outfoxed Athapaththu with a well-executed delivery, leading to her dismissal.
Despite a brief revival by Hasini Perera (25 off 22 balls), Rajeshwari dismissed her with a well-executed sweep shot, leaving Sri Lanka struggling at 50 for four. Nilakshi de Silva (23 off 34 balls) and Oshadi Ranasinghe (19 off 26 balls) added 38 runs for the fifth wicket before Shikha Pandey and Deepti Sharma picked up crucial wickets, both players falling while attempting adventurous shots.
In the batting department, India’s decision to bat first on a pitch favoring bowlers proved wise. Smriti Mandhana (46 off 45 balls) and Jemimah Rodrigues (42 off 40 balls) formed a crucial partnership of 73 runs for the second wicket. They effectively employed the sweep shot to combat the challenging conditions. Although Mandhana’s fine form was briefly hampered by an injury, Richa Ghosh provided a brief spark with a six. Harmanpreet Kaur had a challenging time during her stay at the crease, but India’s total proved to be sufficient to secure their second gold medal of the Games.