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On This Day: India Lifted the Asia Cup for the Fourth Successive Time in 2008

Half-centuries from Asha Rawat, Mithali Raj, and Rumeli Dhar lead India to beat Sri Lanka by 177 runs and win their 4th successive Asia Cup title in 2008, on this day. Asha Rawat was declared as the Player of the Match for her 97, and Rumeli Dhar lifted the  Player of the Tournament Trophy. She scored 213 runs in 5 innings and picked up 6 wickets.

Winning the toss, India skipper Mithali Raj decided to bat first. While India lost their opener, Jaya Sharma, in the 2nd over off the bowling of Sripali Weerakkody. However, the Srilankan jubilation didn’t last long. Karuna Jai was then joined by no.3 Asha Rawat, who had been in tremendous form in this Asia Cup. She had hit 2 half-centuries in as many innings she played.

Both of them added 71 runs to give India a solid foundation. Once Karuna Jain (28) was removed in the 22nd over, Mithali Raj made her approach in the middle. Asha Rawat, who made a blistering start completed her half-century through a four against Suwini de Alwis in 80 balls. Her half-century was comprised of 8 fours. Rawat though, missed out on her maiden ton when she was caught by Chamani Seneviratna off Shashikala Siriwardene on 97.

Rawat and Raj took the attack to the opposition and made the life miserable for the Islanders in the middle overs. The added 91 for the third wicket off 89 balls. Mithali went on to complete her 50 in 62 balls and hit three fours in an over of Eshani Lokusuriyage.

Asha Rawat
Asha Rawat registered her best ODI score. Image – Getty

But the run-rate took an upward surge when Raj was joined by Rumeli Dhar, the pair amassing 82 off 60 balls. Dhar was the more aggressive of the two, scored her fifty with a strike rate of 161. Dhar took 30 balls to reach her 50 which included 6 fours. This shows that apart from hitting the boundaries, how the batters were able to rotate the strike. Raj and Dhar fell within five balls of each other, but by then they had done their bit. India ended their innings at 260 for the loss of 7 wickets.

READ HERE: Mithali Raj Wants to Bring the World Cup Trophy to India in 2021

Chasing an intimidating target, Srilanka received a setback when Dedunu Silva was dismissed by seamer Amita Sharma in the fourth over. But Chamari Polgampola and Siriwardene, who scored 23 and 20 respectively, took Sri Lanka to 50 in the 13th over. But once Siriwardena fell to Rumeli Dhar, Srilanka triggered a collapse and lost their last 8 wickets on just 33 runs.

Off-spinner Seema Pujare and slow left-arm spinner, Netu David picked up six wickets of those 8 by conceding 21 runs, while Rumeli Dhar picked up 2 for 11. 260 is the 2nd highest total by India against Srilanka and the 177 run victory is the highest victory margin for India margin in terms of runs against Srilanka.

Brief Score:

India 260/7 (Asha Rawat 97, Mithali Raj 67, Shashikala Siriwardene 4/53 ) beat Sri Lanka 83 (Chamari Polgampola 23, Seema Pujare 3/10, Neetu David 3/11) by 177 runs.

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