Lankan women cricketers enter semis

The opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games, the largest sports tournament in Asia, will be held today ) under the theme Heart to Heart, @Future at the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou, China, commonly known as the Big Lotus. This stadium, which has a capacity of 80,000 spectators, was completed in 2018.

This colourful event will showcase the culture and history of the Chinese people as well as the sportsmanship and friendship between the participating countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony as the chief guest. Golfer Anura Rohana, who is the captain of the Sri Lankan team at this year’s event, and athlete Gayanthika Abeyratne, also named captain, arrived in Hangzhou yesterday. Along with that, several other teams including rugby also arrived in China.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan team managed to qualify for the semi-finals of the women’s cricket event. Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets over Thailand in the third quarter-final played at the Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Ground yesterday. They will face Pakistan, having a chance to topple them, in the second semi-final tomorrow . The winners of this match will play against the winners of the first semi-final match on Sunday between India and Bangladesh for the Gold medal. In yesterday’s match, which was limited to 15 overs due to rain, Sri Lankan, who batted first, restricted the Thai team to 78 runs and passed the winning target in 10.5 overs, losing only two wickets.

Captain Chamari Atapattu scored 27 runs off 21 balls and Anushka Sanjeevani scored 32 (23 balls), both of them hit 5 fours each. Harshitha Madavi was 14 not out with Vishmi Gunaratne 8 not out, securing Sri Lanka’s victory.

Chanida Sutthiruang scored an unbeaten 31 and was the highest scorer in the Thai innings, None of the batswomen except Chanida could cross the 10-run mark against the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Bangladesh were scheduled to play the fourth quarter-final against Hong Kong yesterday, but the match was abandoned due to rain, with Bangladesh advancing to the semi-finals in a walkover.

Maheshi Bandara, who participated in the Rowing Women’s Single Sculls event yesterday, finished fifth with a time of 8:57.65 minutes. Mohamed Nafiran, who joined the men’s competition in this event, also finished fifth (7:57.55 minutes), and both of them qualified for the final round of Group B’. Those two competitions will be held on September 25.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan team joined the preliminary round of the women’s beach volleyball event and lost 2-0 to the Philippines. The scores were 21-10 and 21-17. Arianna Taaylya, who sailed in the women’s ILCA 4 Dinghy event, finished third but was 6th overall. Tharen Nanayakkara, who joined the men’s race of the event, finished 12th.