Under-fire Malawi national netball team put aside their woes to shock second-ranked New Zealand 57-53 in a pool B match of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia Sunday.
This is Malawi’s first ever victory over New Zealand in a full-sided game and it came a day after the Queens suffered a 54-52 surprise defeat to Africa’s rising stars, the She- Cranes of Uganda.
Following the historic win, the Queens still have slim chances of finishing in the top six as Uganda suffered a 55-49 defeat to England.
Both Malawi and Uganda are remaining with two games apiece against the same opponents— Wales and Scotland.
England lead pool B with six points whereas New Zealand are second with four.
Uganda are third in the pool despite being tied on two points with Malawi, who lie fourth.
Scotland also have two points and are on fifth position while Wales anchor the table without a point.
The Queens date Wales tomorrow before locking horns with Scotland on Wednesday.
On the court, Malawi celebrated wildly upon the blowing of the final whistle, barely believing their accomplishment.
According to www.stuff. co.nz, the Silver Ferns had never previously lost to Malawi in nine previous appearances and ran out comfortable 75-42 victors in Auckland on March 21 in the Taini Jamison Trophy series.
Unlike in previous matches when Malawi Head Coach, Whyte Mulilima, made several changes in the course of action, the coach depended on his starting seven.
Melbourne Vixens shooter, Mwawi Kumwenda, who had a stint with Mainland Tactix in New Zealand, scored 41 baskets out of 46 chances whereas Jane Chimaliro, who started at goal attack at the expense of Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya, was also lethal, scoring 14 out of 20 chances.
New Zealand started strongly as they led the first quarter 18-10. The Silver Ferns appeared to be cruising at halftime, leading 32- 25.
But they imploded in the third quarter, where they were outscored 17-9 by Malawi, who narrowly led 42-41.
Mulilima said the battle is still on and reiterated that his charges would not relent in their quest to win the last two games.
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