India clinches Gold after rain spoils Asian Games final against Afghanistan

Indian Men’s cricket team led by Ruturaj Gaikwad clinched gold in the Asian games after rain played spoilsport in the gold medal match against Afghanistan. It was one of the Indian contingents' 107 gold medals in this edition of Asiad. Talking about the match India chose to bowl first after winning the toss and went in with the same team that played the semi-final against Bangladesh on Friday, October 6. The decision to bowl first was taken keeping in mind the sluggish nature of the pitch.

The bowlers quickly sent Afghanistan 5 down with Shivam Dube and Arshdeep getting the two openers inside the powerplay before the spinners on Ravi Bishnoi and Sai Kishore picked two more. Afghanistan fought back after losing three wickets early and strolled to 49-4 before a beauty from Ravi Bishnoi went through the bat of Afsar Zazai to castle his stumps. 

It was then up to Sharidullah Kamal and skipper Gulbadin Naib to bail the team out of trouble and the duo did so by adding 70 runs for the sixth wicket before rain halted play in the 19th over. 

After a long wait, the officials eventually abandoned the game, and India, being the higher-seeded side of the two teams in the match, won the gold medal while Afghanistan claimed the silver for the third time in history. India’s women’s team also clinched the gold medal in the women's competition after beating Sri Lanka in the initial days of the Asian Games 2022. 

A Massive Achievement

Following the win BCCI secretary Jay Shah shared a post on X congratulating the Indian team. He wrote “Following the Women's Cricket Team's inspiring gold medal-winning performance, our Men in Blue have taken center stage at the #AsianGames, clinching the coveted GOLD medal! Huge congratulations to each member of the team, the coaching staff, and everyone who has contributed to this exceptional achievement. Your relentless pursuit of excellence has made the entire nation proud! @BCCI @VVSLaxman281”. 

Wishes from around the cricketing circle continued to pour as wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Karthik also congratulated team India on the massive achievement. DK expressed his pleasure on social media platform X. 

He wrote “From the crease to the podium, our Indian cricket team's journey ends with a golden finish! What a fantastic win at the #AsianGames.  Congratulations boys!”

Here is the squad that achieved glory

Team India (Senior Men) squad for 19th Asian Games: Ruturaj Gaikwad (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Shivam Dube, Prabhsimran Singh (wk), Akash Deep.

Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Devika Vaidya, Anjali Sarvani, Titas Sadhu, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Minnu Mani, Kanika Ahuja, Uma Chetry (wk), Anusha Bareddy 

Indian captain Rohit Sharma also praised the Indian team. In the words of Rohit, "It's a very big moment for the country to win Gold Medal in Asian Games".

A Team Effort

India’s men’s and women’s team earned direct qualification into the knock stage of the competition on the basis of superior T20 team ranking as India are currently the number one team in T20s in men’s cricket. But the journey to the final wasn’t easy as they won the quarterfinal against Nepal which was a closely contested match after Nepal ran India close only to fall short of the target by 23 runs while chasing 203 runs for victory. India was able to get past the 200-run mark courtesy of a magnificent century from Yashasvi Jaiswal who played aggressively on a wicket which was assisting the spinners.

The semi-final match against Bangladesh was a relatively easy affair as India managed to restrict the Bangla tigers to less than 100 runs courtesy of some accurate bowling from the Indian bowlers. The score was chased down comfortably by the Indian team with 9 wickets in hand

Match Summary

Afghanistan 112-5(18.2 overs) Shahidullah 49* Naib 27* Ravi Bishnoi 1-12 (4)

Match Result: No Result Due To Rain- India bags Gold Silver Goes to Afghanistan and Bronze to Bangladesh

Top Performers: Shahidullah Naib Bishnoi Arshdeep Singh

Image Credit: NDTV Sports

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