Pakistan created history Friday in crushing Bangladesh by 10 wickets to win the first-ever Asian Games women’s cricket tournament. The victory handed Pakistan their first gold of the Guangzhou Games and prevented Bangladesh from claiming their country’s first-ever at an Asia.
The win comes as welcome relief at a time of major problems for the men’s game in Pakistan, which has been embroiled in spot-fixing and disciplinary issues for much of the past year.
Bangladesh’s total of 92 all out never looked enough as Pakistan openers Nida Rashid and Javeria Wadood made a positive start to their run chase, playing a full range of shots and looking to score at every opportunity.
Bangladesh couldn’t force a breakthrough as Nida raced to a half-century off just 41 balls. The Pakistan pair reached their target with more than four overs to spare. Nida’s 51 not out included seven fours while there were three boundaries in Javeria’s unbeaten 39 off 51 balls.
A jubilant Pakistan team raced around the outfield after their emphatic win.
Skipper Sana Mir said:
“We are excited and happy, Pakistan must be proud of us.”
Javeria said the win would help the women’s game grow in Pakistan. She said:
“It is the first gold medal for Pakistan in this Asian Games. I am very proud of that.”
A disappointed Shohaly Akther of Bangladesh said:
“Our performance was not good, Pakistan’s batting was really good, I am not proud of getting a silver medal”.But coach Dipu Rai Choudhury said he was pleased with his team’s performance. If we had won today, we would have been heroes here. But we are still heroes.”
Bangladesh scored freely in the early part of their innings, but Pakistan’s bowlers tied them down, forcing them to take risks, which led to wickets tumbling. Captain Salma Khatun top-scored with 24, with Nida taking 4-16 and skipper Sana 2-23.
Earlier, China’s hopes of claiming the bronze medal were shattered by Japan in a seven-wicket defeat. China was restricted to 65-6 off their 20 overs before Japan reached their target with four balls to spare. Japan captain Ema Kuribayashi, who plays club cricket in New Zealand, top-scored for her side with a steady, unbeaten 24.