Malawi Queens faces an uphill task in a swim or sink affair when they line up against New Zealand at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia Wednesday afternoon.
Smarting from a 59-53 scrappy win over fellow Africans, Uganda, the spotlight is now on the Queens’ to see if they are capable of reaching the semifinal of the Netball World Cup.
The odds are against Malawi as they have never beaten New Zealand in a full-sided game. Since time in memorial, the Queens have been failing to get past the top four teams and New Zealand is among Malawi’s hurdle.
The Queens are ranked sixth in the world whereas New Zealand, who announced their revival by ending Australia’s two-year winning streak with a 52-47 win, are second on the world ladder.
Both teams remain unbeaten ahead of today’s battle.Malawi must at least beat two teams in Pool E to have realistic chances of reaching the semifinal.
Malawi coach, Peace Chawinga- Kaluwa, speaking after his charges beat Uganda, said they would approach New Zealand game differently.
“Yes it is a tough win, but I am satisfied with the victory. The girls put on gallant fight because Uganda is not a pushover. Even though the girls relaxed in the third and fourth quarter, we were leading comfortably in the first two quarters,” Kaluwa explained.
“We will plan for the New Zealand game differently. New Zealand doesn’t play African style of netball, so we will put in place strategies which will match New Zealand. I know they have height advantage but we are going to deal with it.”
The Queens conclude Pool E assignments with another clash against third-ranked Jamaica later this week.
Top two teams from this pool will reach the semifinals.
During the game, Uganda’s fight-back, led by star shooter Peace Proscovia, was just not enough for the She Cranes, as the undefeated Malawi team held on for a six-goal win.Malawi led the first quarter 19- 9, the second 35-22, 15-14 in third.
Meanwhile, Airtel Malawi, in a statement, says it is excited because the Queens have attained a world record in registering over 100 nets in one game and by being undefeated in all the games of the group stages.
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