The Malawi Queens in a drive to the semi-finals of the Netball World Cup 2015 defeated the Uganda lady Cranes 59-53 on Tuesday. This was a second loss in two days for the lady Cranes.
Tuesday marked the start of a four-day qualification round (second phase), which will determine the teams that make it to the semi-finals.
Following the first round (preliminary stage), Malawi Queens are placed in Pool E alongside Uganda, four-time world champions New Zealand and Jamaica, who are ranked fourth in the world. This is a tough group as it has highly ranked teams all round.
In the first Pool E game, Malawi Queens remain unbeaten so far in this competition, and eight places above Uganda in the world rankings, proved too strong for the Ugandans at the Netball Central in Sydney. An impressive She Cranes comeback attempt in the final quarter came only short as The Malawi Queens wore them out.
Captain Peace Proscovia was the more (and generally most) accurate goal shooter of the day, scoring 38 from 39 attempts. Her opposite Mwayi Kumwenda dipped 48 of her 53 tries. She Cranes’ goal attack Racheal Nanyonga, who has equally impressed throughout the tournament, scored 15 out of 18 attempts. Her Zambian counterpart Sindi Simtowe managed 11 from 13 attempts.
The Silver Ferns went on to beat the Jamaicans 55-48 in the other Pool E fixture at the Allphones Arena.
The top two teams in this pool will move on to the semi-finals. To determine who will progress, all the four teams will play a round robin format – meaning, each side will play all the other three opponents. (Malawi Queens will have to play against Jamaica and New Zealand in this second phase).
The other best two teams to qualify for the semis will be drawn from Pool F (Australia, England, South Africa and Wales).
Earlier on Tuesday, South Africa made easy work of Wales with a 68-40 victory on day five in Pool F. Wales snuffed out Uganda’s unbeaten run in the preliminary round, and they saw their own clean streak broken by a dominant South African side at the Allphones Arena.
In the second Pool F game, holders Australia overpowered England 51-41 inside a full packed Allphones Arena.
South Africa next meet defending champions Australia on day six while Wales meet England. England will play Wales.
In Pool G, it was the same script for Zambia who are yet to register any win in this tournament. They were easily brushed aside by Trinidad & Tobago 66-39 at the Netball Central.
Trinidad & Tobago face Singapore on Wednesday while a lackluster Zambia will seek a first victory against Samoa (who got their first win earlier against Singapore).