Malawi Queens towering shooter Mwai Kumwenda has said she is “extremely happy” to have helped the team beat rivals South Africa 58-51 on Friday in their Pool C opening match of the 2015 Netball World Cup at Sydney Olympic Park.
After the win, the Queens dished out kisses on each other, who greeted the final whistle by mounting a circle before thanking God with a thanksgiving prayer.
“I feel very happy to get our revenge. I am also delighted to start with victory on my first game after a break on national duties,” Kumwenda told Nyasa Times in an interview through WhatsApp – a cross-platform mobile messaging.
Kumwenda, who has been out of the team for some time, celebrated her return to the side with an outstanding performance. She missed only three attempts out of 43, and the South African defenders Karla Mostert and Adele Niemand had their work cut out for them.
“We played really strongly, amvanso kuwawa ( they have felt the heart),” said the New-Zealand based professional shooter. “We stuck to our game plan.”
At the end of the first quarter, Malawi were two goals ahead, and they extended this to a five goal advantage by halftime, leading South Africa 27-22.
South Africa came out with all guns blazing in the third quarter, which was the only one they won, outscoring Malawi by 15 goals to 14. They drew level with the Queens midway through the quarter, but Malawi pulled away again, and finished it 41-37 ahead.
This Nyasa Times reporter monitored the match live on SuperSport 4.
No nonsense goal defender Caroline ‘Ayuda’ Ngwira was brutal if not ruthless. Goal Keeper Towera ‘Tobe’ Vinkhumbo tied up things with quick-fire interceptions. Pint-sized Takondwa Lwazi found her passing range; picking up goal attacker Sindi ‘Sniper’ Simutowe.
Kumwenda mocked gravity, danced in the air then planted the baskets for fun to the satisfaction of Malawians who followed the match live.
South Africa’s centre Erin Burger, who is playing in her third World Cup, conceded they were disappointed with the loss.
“We are disappointed and a bit frustrated after losing this match, but it will be heads up tomorrow when we play our next match (against Singapore in their second match). We’re not going to let this defeat stop us,” she told SuperSport.
As it stands, in Pool C, Malawi and Singapore have 2 points while Sri Lanka and South Africa have no point.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :