Malawi Queens put up a good show at the start of the Africa Netball Championship with a 79 – 43 win against Zimbabwe in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday.
Queens coach Griffin ‘Zagallo’ Saenda said he was pleased with the start which he said will boost their hopes of winning the continental competition for the first time since 2011 .
Malawi is scheduled to face Uganda on Wednesday morning in the game that is equivalent to a title decider.
The two sides are the tournament favourites and both kicked off the games with victories as Uganda’s She Cranes won 72 – 47 against Namibia hence making their next meet a must watch.
The two totally have different intentions of participation in the championship making their meet even more interesting.
Unlike Uganda that is looking at retaining the continental title in a bid to book a slot in the 2019 Netball World Cup.
Malawi Queens, ranked sixth in the world, have not won the competition since they lost to South Africa at home in 2013. They failed to compete in 2015 due to financial hiccups and they faltered against hosts and defending champions Uganda last year.
In the game against Zimbabwe, In the absence of injured Australia-based shooter Mwawi Kumwenda, the Malawi Queens were inspired by towering shooter Joyce Mvula who plays for Manchester Thunder of England as she led the Queens with 19 baskets to 9 int he first quarters and 43-17 at half time.
Saenda made some changes as Kukoma Diamond’s Alinafe Kamwala was brought in for Mvula and Jane Chimaliro went in for Jessica Mazengera.
In the third quarter, Zimbabwe managed to add nine more baskets but at the end of it was 43-28.
Without experienced Joana Kachilika in the court Malawi won 79-43.
Two top teams from the tournament are expected to join Malawi and South Africa who have already qualified for the next year’s Netball World cup showpiece which will be staged in Liverpool, England.
The following is the first seven which started the match; Joyce Mvula (GS), Jessie Mazengera (GA), Thandie Galleta (WA), Takondwa Lwazi (C), Martha Dambo (WD), Towera Vinkhumbo (GD) and Loreen Ngwira (GK).