Wrap: Proteas cruise past Tonga, Zimbabwe secure 13th place

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  • Post published:August 4, 2023

South Africa produced another convincing performance to defeat Tonga 72-46 while Zimbabwe defeated Barbados 75-48 to secure 13th place in the Netball World Cup action on Friday.

Zimbabwe 75-48 Barbados

Zimbabwe avenged its 45-62 loss to Barbados earlier in the week by defeating the Bajan Gems 75-48 to finish 13th at the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town.

Zimbabwe finished in eighth place and Barbados in twelfth at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool four years ago.

Zimbabwe seized control early on, establishing a three-point lead early on.

Goal attempt Nicole Muzanenamo was in fine form, receiving accurate passes from the centre of the court and making effective shots. She once again utilised impressive split landings to position herself favourably for scoring.

Kadeen Corbin scored for Barbados to close the gap to a single goal (14-15) before the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was marked by multiple interceptions and intense competition around the goal circles.

Just before halftime, Nalani Makunde scored four consecutive goals to give Zimbabwe a 30-28 lead.

In the third quarter, the Gems maintained their momentum and extended their lead significantly by outscoring Barbados 22 to 7.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the scoreboard read 52-35 in favour of Zimbabwe, which promised more of the same as the Zimbabwe Gems completely outperformed Barbados.

Zimbabwe’s fitness was crucial throughout the entire match, as they made only two substitutions in the entire 60 minutes.

Zimbabwe’s defenders limited Barbados’ scoring opportunities in the final 15 minutes, resulting in a 24 point lead at one point.

Zimbabwe emerged victorious with a 27-goal advantage to finish the competition in thirteenth place.

Singapore 49-46 Sri Lanka

Friday in Cape Town, Singapore and Sri Lanka renewed their rivalry in the battle for 15th place at the Netball World Cup.

The teams have already met at this tournament, with Singapore prevailing by a score of 3-1. However, Sri Lanka prevailed in their previous 15th-place matchup at the 2019 Netball World Cup.

As anticipated, Friday’s match was a close contest, but the Singaporeans prevailed with a 49-46 win.

Sri Lanka got off to a much better start than in their previous meeting in Cape Town, where they trailed by nine goals after the first quarter and had to play catch-up throughout.

Singapore was penalised three times for offensive contact in the first quarter, which proved costly, while Sri Lanka capitalised on their superior possession (60%) by easily finding Thishala Algama in the circle.

Again, shooting accuracy was a talking point during the match, with Sri Lanka converting 15 of 16 shots, compared to Singapore’s 8 from 11 attempts. Thus, Sri Lanka reached the first break 8-15 ahead.

Sri Lanka had a much more difficult time finding their shooters in the second quarter as Singapore’s defensive unit increased its intensity, allowing them to win the quarter by one goal but still trailing by six goals, 20-26, at halftime.

Singapore dominated the third quarter, their fluidity and intensity allowing them to quickly close the gap.

With five minutes remaining in the quarter, wing defender Shu Ning Yew went down with a knee injury and was wheeled off the court by medical personnel. She was replaced by Ting Fang Khor, but Singapore maintained its dominance, winning the period 16-10 and scoring the game-tying goal with 15 seconds remaining.

In the final 15 minutes, there was still everything to play for. Amandeep Chahal was unflappable in the Singapore circle, converting nine of her ten attempts as Singapore defeated the Asian champions 49-46 in a game that will live in infamy. Later, the goal scorer was awarded Most Valuable Player.

South Africa 72-46 Tonga

The Proteas defeated Tonga in front of their home crowd to advance to the semifinals of the Netball World Cup in Cape Town.

In their final match of the quadrennial tournament this weekend, they will face their African rivals Uganda in a playoff match. However, they had to work for it, overcoming an early challenge to set up a playoff matchup.

With nothing to lose, Tonga came out firing in their World Cup debut, and they kept South Africa on their toes throughout the entire first quarter, ending the period tied at 12-12.

Despite their valiant efforts, the Tonga Tala ran out of steam in the second quarter, and the Proteas seized control with a 30-23 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, South Africa increased its lead by four points (47-36), and in the final quarter, they tightened their grip on the game to seal a 72-46 victory.

On the final day of the World Cup, on Sunday at 11 a.m., South Africa will face Uganda in the playoff for fifth and sixth place.

This match will follow the play-off between former African giants Malawi and Tonga for seventh and eighth place, which begins at 9 a.m. at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Bongi Msomi, captain of the Proteas, stated that his team was preparing for a tough match against Uganda in an effort to finish as the top African team in the tournament.

They hoped to avenge their loss to Uganda in the fifth-place playoff at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.

If they lose, it will be the first time since 2007 that South Africa has finished outside the top five at the World Cup.

Photo by Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix