Gems thrash Barbados to secure 13th position at Netball World Cup

Shelly Guni in Cape Town

Zimbabwe Gems held firm in a testing encounter against trick Barbados to win 75-48, securing a 13th position at the 2023 Netball World Cup.

Ranked 14th in the world, Barbados was always going to be the greatest challenge to the Gems after the Gems lost 62-48 in their first encounter in group E.

The game’s opening passages started off goal-for-goal until Zimbabwe were able to capitalize on an early Barbados error to inch ahead. Intercepts from Felisitus Kwangwa and Progress Moyo allowed the Gems to wrest back the lead, but, with Australia-based shooter Nalani Makunde masterfully conducting the Gems’ attacking end, opportunities to extend the score difference were few.

The ball speed generated by Barbados proved particularly challenging for Zimbabwe’s defenders, forcing them to settle for a 30-28 score at halftime.

A 57-18 partnership between Makunde and Nicole Muzanenamo saw the Gems reach 75 goals, exceeding the 62 goals they scored against Barbados.

Gems vice-captain, Claris Kwaramba, said they are now going to

“…At least we managed a 13th position. Not as we had planned, but we are happy to have rectified our mistakes coming into this game and proved a point.

“Last World Cup, we finished eighth, and we also had hoped for a top four finish, but we lost some very crucial games that led us to this stage.”

 

 

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