India clinch fourth successive Asia Cup
India 260 for 7 (Rawat 97, Raj 66, Dhar 50, Siriwardene 4-53) beat Sri Lanka 83 (Seema 3-10, David 3-11) by 177 runs
India, led by Asha Rawat's 114-ball 97 which included 12 fours and a six, thrashed Sri Lanka by 177 runs in Kurunegala to clinch their fourth successive Women's Asia Cup.
Mithali Raj won the toss and chose to bat, but India had an early blip when Jaya Sharma was dismissed without scoring by Shiromala Weerakkody. But Rawat and Karu Jain added 71 runs for the second wicket to lay the platform for a big score. Jain, however, fell to the left-arm spin of Suwini de Alwis for a sedate 68-ball 28. Her dismissal did not deter Rawat, who went from strength to strength after making her third ODI fifty.
Rawat and Raj put the Sri Lankan bowlers to the sword in the middle overs, combining to make 91 for the third wicket off 89 balls. Rawat though, missed out on her maiden ton when she was caught by Chamani Seneviratna off Shashikala Siriwardene.
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, needing just 30 balls to reach her fifty. Raj and Dhar fell within five balls of each other, but by then they had done their bit. Siriwardene, Sri Lanka's captain, claimed three more wickets as India searched for quick runs, and finished with 4 for 53.
Sri Lanka were faced with an intimidating target, and they 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 moments after, Siriwardene fell to Dhar, a dismissal which was the start of an abrupt collapse, as Sri Lanka lost nine wickets for 33 runs. Spinners Pujare Seema and Neetu David were the main destructors, taking three wickets apiece to hasten Sri Lanka's demise.