All or Nothing: Gems face Zambia in make-or-break World Cup qualifier

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Zimbabwe netball team players (in green) during their match against Malawi in Pretoria on Friday. CREDIT Net Zim

Zimbabwe’s netball team will have a final opportunity to qualify for next year’s Netball World Cup when they face Zambia in a make-or-break third-place playoff match on Saturday after losing their semi-final clash against Malawi at Africa Netball World Cup Qualifier in Pretoria on Friday.

The Gems lost 62-41 against Malawi in a crunch semi-final encounter on Friday which resulted in the latter qualifying for the Netball World Cup to be held in South Africa.

A semi-final clash against higher-ranked Malawi was always going to be a tough encounter for Zimbabwe but they showed promise in the first three minutes, getting the first goal but Malawi which was strong in all departments wrestled back into the match to end the first quarter leading 14-8.

Malawi increased their dominance in the second quarter to go to halftime with a 32-18 lead.

Zimbabwe offered some resistance in the third quarter to finish the quarter 44-28 but Malawi managed the game well in the last quarter to end the match 62-41.

With the win, Malawi qualified for the World Cup while Zimbabwe will now face Zambia, who lost 74-43 in the other semi-final.

South Africa have already qualified for next year’s global tournament as the host nation which gives Zimbabwe a great chance to book its place in the Netball World Cup if they secure a victory against their northern neighbours on Saturday.

So far Malawi, Uganda and South Africa have qualified for the Netball World Cup to be held from 28 July to 6 August 2023 at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town.

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