The Indian cricket team has traditionally found it difficult to compete with the powerful Australians, but Harmanpreet Kaur’s squad got itself in a winning position before losing the game.
The Indians had them on the mat at 49 for five after they scored a respectable 154 for eight, but the defending world champions eventually came back to win by three wickets thanks to Ashleigh Gardner (52 not out off 35 balls), who raised pivotal stands of 51 and 47 with Grace Harris (37) and Alana King (18 not out), respectively.
Suleman Baloch of Pakistan was defeated by champion boxer Shiva Thapa in the opening round of the 63.5kg division. The former Asian champion, who had to deal with the disappointment of missing out on the Tokyo Olympics for the second time in a row, outclassed his bigger and more aggressive opponent to win the light welter weight division 5-0.
Packed with world-class performers, India expectedly made mincemeat of Pakistan in a lop-sided 5-0 win in the mixed team event.
World number 11 Kidmabi Srikanth, former world champion P V Sindhu cruised to singles win, while the three doubles pairs also strolled to victories to inflict a whitewash on the neighbouring nation.
The gulf in class was evident as the Pakistanis struggled to match the high standards set by the Indians.
“We have come here to definitely win the gold. We will set our targets right and at the same time we are not really thinking about the negative sides of it like whom we are facing in the semi-finals or final.
“We’re just focused on doing well and winning the gold,” Srikanth said.
Srihari Nataraj clocked 54.68s to qualify for the semifinals of the men’s 100m backstroke event. The 21-year-old from Bengaluru was the third fastest swimmer in his heat and fifth fastest overall.
However, the seasoned Sajan Prakash and debutant Kushagra Rawat failed to advance to the semifinal of their respective events.
The men’s sprint team of Ronaldo Laitonjam, Y Rojit Singh, and David Beckham Elkatohchoongo had a difficult day as they came in sixth in qualifying at the Lee Valley VeloPark with a time of 44.702 seconds overall. They failed to advance to the medal round.
They lagged Australia, who took first position, by 2.480 seconds.
In addition, the women’s sprint team did not perform any better than the men’s group, finishing seventh in the qualifying round with a cumulative time of 51.433.