Malawi Queens beat Zimbabwe in African Netball Championship opener

Exciting start for Malawi Queens in the African Netball Championship as they went on to demolish Zimbabwe in an exciting match played indoors at College of Medicine in Blantyre on Monday evening.

The Queens, who are the cup holders, started the first and second quarter leaving out some of their key players like Sindi Simutowe, Bridget Kumwenda, Joana Kachilika and Joyce Mvula giving a chance to Jessica Mazengera and Takondwa Lwazi to shine.

In the first 12 minutes of the first quarter, the visitors dominated the proceedings especially through their shooter Jani Pauline, who was a marvel to watch.

Each time Pauline had the ball in her hands it resulted into a basket.

However, the Queens accelerated their gear with Lauren Ngwira stealing the show as she notched most of the baskets for her side.

Malawi Queens defending the title.....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Malawi Queens defending the title…..Photo Jeromy Kadewere

The combination of Ngwira and Jessica Mazengera gave Edzai Nkosana headache as she could not tame the Malawian duo.

In the first quarter, the Queens led by 18-9 baskets.

Come second quarter, Ngwira was unstoppable as she continued to notch baskets to the admiration of the Minister of Youth and Sports Enock Chihana and some big gurus like former Mighty Wanderers FC chairman Humphreys Mvula.

As the two teams were going on recess it was the Queens leading by 35-24 baskets.

In the third quarter, the Queens made several changes introducing Sindi Simutowe, Bridget Kumwenda and Joyce Mvula for Takondwa Lwazi, Towera Vinkhumbo and Jessica Mazengera.

Mvula and Simutowe were paired as shooters, as Ngwira now was switched to the goal keeping department to deal with Pauline.

Malawi Queens led comfortably in the third quarter with 51-29 baskets.

In the last quarter, the Queens were in real business as they went on to finish Zimbabwe with 68-43 baskets to send the jam packed College of Medicine into celebrations.

Tatopa ndi Ma Flames…bola atsikanawa. Flames yatinamiza kwanthawi yaitali [We are fed up with the underperforming Flames],” some fans were overhead shouting in the court’s upper balcony as the game progressed.

Malawi Queens coach Peace Chawinga Kalua praised her charges for their performance and vowed to defend the title as Zimbwabwe assistant coach Tapiwa Chilenda accepted that they were outplayed but emphasized that they will improve in their next game.

Caroline Ngwira on the way to handle the cup to the minister of Sports....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Caroline Ngwira on the way to handle the cup to the minister of Sports….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Models with Malawi Queens captain Caroline with the Cup....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Models with Malawi Queens captain Caroline with the Cup….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Malawi Queens after the game...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Malawi Queens after the game…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Zimbabwe warming up.....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Zimbabwe warming up…..Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Malawi Queens coaches Mary Waya (r) and Peace Chawina....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Malawi Queens coaches Mary Waya (r) and Peace Chawina….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

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