New Zealand has inflicted spirited Malawi first defeat in the Netball World Cup with 57-49 on the second day of qualification rounds on Wednesday in Sydney, Australia.
Led by Mainland Tactix star attacker Mwai Kumwenda, Malawi Queens, were stubborn against the Silver Ferns but struggled to contain them.
New Zealand started the game on a fast note were two point up within a minute. Mwai Kumwenda’s first score came after three minutes when New Zealand were leading 6-0.
After the first basket, Malawi Queen settled their nerves and were able to player their usual games of silky passes and good combination of Sindi Simutowe, Bridget Kumwenda and Mwai.
Queens trailed 13-16 at first quarter and 24-39 at half time.
In the third quarter Malawi narrowed the gap to three by trailing 39-42.
The finals quarter was intense and despite a resolute Malawi Queens, they were unfortunate to lose lose 57-49.
Malawi has shooting accuracy of 89 percent while New Zealand had 86 percent.
New Zealand coach Wai Taumaunu conceded “Malawi are not easy beats .”
Malawi will face Jamaica in their next fixture.
Under the new World Cup format, the top two teams from each preliminary pool move into two top-eight pools while the bottom two teams are split into another two pools to fight for semi-finals slots.
The most successful two teams from each of the top-eight pools move into the semi-finals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :