Zimbabwe’s netball team maintained their perfect start at the Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers after beating Namibia 45-41 in their second group match at the University of Pretoria in South Africa on Tuesday.
This was Zimbabwe’s second successive victory in the competition after they kickstarted their campaign in the Africa Netball World Cup Qualifiers with a 49-41 win over Botswana on Monday.
And on Tuesday they produced another dominant show with gifted Goal Attack (GA) Tafadzwa Matura being named player of the match for the second consecutive match.
Zimbabwe’s victory on Tuesday was more important as they struggled against the same side early this year in Malawi.
Despite picking up an important win, the depth in Zimbabwe’s squad will however be severely tested following injuries to key players Sharon Bwanali, Nicole Muzanenhamo, Joice Takaedza and Beaula Hlungwane as Namibia employed an aggressive approach to the game.
Despite Namibia’s aggressive start, the Gems led 13-8 in the first quarter before stretching it to 23-14 in the second quarter.
With the duo of Bwanali and Matura flourishing upfront, Zimbabwe were given a major scare when the former was stretchered off the field in the third quarter due to injury but they still held on to head for the interval with a 36-24 lead.
The injury withdrawals clearly took their toll on the team in the fourth quarter as Namibia fought back strongly, reducing a 12-point gap to just seven 7 points but the Gems still managed to hold on for an important win.
Zimbabwe will be hoping to keep their World Cup qualification hopes alive when they take on Tanzania on Wednesday.