One does not frequently get to see the Indian women’s cricket team celebrating after winning a tournament. In the majority of cases, they have lost in the grand finales of international competitions. Even their last appearance in the Asia Cup final, which they lost to Bangladesh, was dismal.

The tournament favorites did, however, taste victory on Saturday when they defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets to win the Asia Cup final in Bangladesh for the seventh time in eight tries. The victory lap the Harmanpreet Kaur-led squad conducted in recognition of the sizable audience that had gathered at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium was the most beautiful sight.

The Indian squad, exuding confidence, underlined their consistency and brought momentum from the 3-0 ODI series victory in England to Sylhet. They established their dominance over Sri Lanka as a one-sided conflict. India just needed 36 minutes to reach the goal after limiting Sri Lanka to 65/9. India quickly reached 71/2 in 8.3 overs to win the T20 competition.

India was no match for Sri Lanka. The batting line-up disintegrated as soon as their skipper Chamari Athapaththu returned to the pavilion after being run out. Renuka Thakur, an Indian medium-pacer, was on fire with her in-winging deliveries. She took three crucial wickets after tearing through the top order of the opposition. Renuka grabbed three wickets in her three overs while only allowing five runs to be scored, not to mention a maiden over.

“I am overjoyed since I haven’t bowled well in the past several games. My efforts with the coach paid off. I stuck to my fundamentals and didn’t attempt anything new. The finalist Thakur stated, “My whole squad, including the captain and coach, supports me.

Inoka Ranaweera had the highest score for Sri Lanka with an 18. In a women’s tournament final, a team batting first and completing all 20 overs has never scored less than 65/9 before. Sneh Rana and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, two more Indian spinners, also bowled effectively and each claimed two wickets.

Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma dominated the spotlight throughout the competition, while Renuka and Smriti Mandhana stole the show in the championship. The left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana struck an undefeated half-century on her route to the resounding victory. After Shafali Verma (5) and Jemimah (2) struggled in the final, the India vice-captain scored a brilliant 25-ball 51 to end the series on a high note.

India’s loss against Pakistan was the one stain on an otherwise perfect tournament record.

After the game, Harmanpreet Kaur stated, “We should praise our bowlers. From the first ball, our fielding unit was strong, and we spoke about not allowing simple runs to get in. You need to read the wicket to position fielders correctly. We correctly read the wicket and set up the fielders. We made our five-over objectives without considering the scoreline. We didn’t care about the score on the board and batted appropriately.

Despite playing against a weak field, they won the Asia Cup after taking silver in the T20 Commonwealth Games tournament and winning the ODI series in England. These achievements have maintained the prominence of Indian women’s cricket and will only serve to enhance the first women’s IPL in 2019.

Additionally, it will increase India’s self-assurance before the T20 World Cup, which will be contested in South Africa in February.