Saturday, December 23, 2006

Indian women clinch Asia Cup

Blog Report
Indian women whipped Sri Lanka by eight wickets to clinch Asia Cup for the third consecutive year at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur on Thursday. Sri Lanka elected to bat first but the move back-fired as they were all out for 93 in 44.1 overs against the accurate bowling of the Indians.
The Lankans recieved an early setback when D de. Silva fell to seamer Jhulan Goswami in the third over. Then Rumeli Dhar accounted for Lankan skipper Shashikala Sriwardane (1) and IGalagedra (4) to keep up the pressure.
Opener C Polgampala (22) put up some resistance at one end as Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals. Later, tailender S Weerakoodey (17) defied the Indian attack to help her team reach nearer the three-figure mark
For the hosts, Jhulan, Rumeli and D Palshikar claimed two wickets each. In reply, India lost both their openers, S Naik (16) and Tirush Kamini (13), early. But unbeaten knocks by S Paranjpe (35) and skipper Mithali Raj (17) helped the hosts cruise to victory in 27.5 overs.
Paranjpe was declared player-of-the-match.
Young Indian opener Kamini and D de Silva of Sri Lanka shared the player of the tournament award.
Indian captain Mithali Raj said the victory has given them more confidence. "We know that the quadrangular series in February would not be that easy. But we will face the Australians, New Zealand and England with more confidence," Mithali said.
"Asia Cup was a good learning experience. We could experiment and I am happy with the way youngsters like Tirush Kamini, Rajeshwari Goyal and a few others performed. I am happy with Kamini who has shown much promise," she said.
The Indian captain said the women's team needed a fielding coach and a computer analyst to improve their performance. "I would appreciate if the BCCI provides us with a computer expert. That will be of great help. Apart from this, we also feel that a fielding coach would also be helpful," she said.
"India are almost on par with the Australians. I think the only difference between them and us is fielding. Being runners-up at the World Cup, I think we are the second best. But, we have to improve our fielding," Mithali added
The Hyderabad girl said under coach Sudha Shah the team is doing well. "For the past couple of years our coach Sudha Shah is doing a fine job. But if BCCI decides to provide an additional coach it will be welcomed," she said.

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