A top-class bowling spell from spinner Sai Kishore and explosive knocks from skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad and Tilak Varma helped India secure a berth in the final of the cricket tournament at the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, defeating Bangladesh by nine wickets on Friday.
India elected to field first after winning the toss. The Indian spinners wreaked havoc on the Bangladeshi batting lineup, taking down the top order easily. At the end of the powerplay, Bangladesh was at 21/3 in six overs.
Sai Kishore, Washington Sundar and Tilak Varma were at their destructive best, reducing Bangladesh to 40/4 in ten overs. Pavez Hossain Emon (23 in 32 balls) was the top contributor till that point. Wickets kept falling for Bangladesh, but wicket-keeper batter Jaker Ali (24* in 29 balls) and Rakibul Hasan (14) helped Bangladesh reach 96 in their 20 overs at the loss of nine wickets.
Sai Kishore (3/12) was the pick of the bowlers for India. Washington (2/15) also bowled well. Tilak, Arshdeep Singh, Shahbaz Ahmed and Ravi Bishnoi got a wicket each. In the chase of 97 runs, India lost opener Yashasvi Jaiswal for a four-ball duck after he had made a century in a previous match against Nepal. But after that skipper Gaikwad and Tilak Varma started to fire quick runs for India, powering them to 68/1 in six overs.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Tilak Varma storm to the target in 9.2 overs:
India chased down the target of 97 in just 9.2 overs, with Gaikwad (40* in 26 balls with four boundaries and three sixes) and Varma (55* in 26 balls with two fours and six sixes) unbeaten. India has stormed into the final and will either play Afghanistan or Pakistan in the gold medal match on October 7.