Zimbabwe sign off Netball World Cup in triumphant style

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Zimbabwe avenged their 45-62 loss against Barbados earlier in the week when they beat the Bajan Gems 75-48 to finish in 13th position at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town.

Four years ago at the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool, Zimbabwe claimed eighth place and Barbados 12th.

Right from the beginning, Zimbabwe took control, leading by three points early on.

Goal attack Nicole Muzanenamo was in excellent form, receiving accurate passes from the mid-court and converting her shots effectively.

She utilised impressive split landings once again to position herself well for scoring.

Barbados managed to narrow the gap to just one goal (14-15) before the end of the first quarter, with a goal from Kadeen Corbin.

The second quarter saw back-and-forth action.

There were multiple intercepts and closely contested play around the goal circles. Zimbabwe’s Nalani Makunde scored four consecutive goals just before halftime, giving her team a 30-28 lead.

The Gems maintained their momentum, and in the third quarter, they surged ahead with a substantial lead, outscoring Barbados by 22 to seven.

This quarter proved to be challenging for Barbados, while Zimbabwe excelled.

The scoreboard showed 52-35 in favour of Zimbabwe at the start of the final quarter.

It was more of the same in the fourth quarter with Zimbabwe completely outplaying Barbados.

The African team were lighter on their feet while the islanders found it difficult to keep up with the fast pace.

Throughout the match, Zimbabwe’s fitness played a crucial role, as they made only two changes during the entire 60 minutes.

In the last 15 minutes, Zimbabwe’s defenders limited Barbados’ scoring opportunities, resulting in a significant lead of up to 24 points at one stage.

When the match concluded, Zimbabwe emerged victorious with a 27-goal lead.

Zimbabwe captain Felisitus Kwangwa said her side raised their hands a little too late in Cape Town.

“For the last few games we just told ourselves that we have to work hard and finish strong. I’m glad everyone in the team managed to rise to the occasion.”

It was wing attack Sasha Corbin’s last match for Barbados, having previously represented England, and she said it has been a massive honour.

“It’s been tough, I won’t lie, six games back-to-back with no rest, it has been extremely difficult. But at the same time, we’ve had to dig deep and I’m proud of what we have achieved,” she said.

SCORES

Q1: 15-14

Q2: 30-28 (15-14)

Q3: 52-35 (22-7)

Q4: 75-48 (23-13)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Nalani Makunde (Zimbabwe)

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