Queens secure semifinal slot for WCQ

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By Wellington Sibale

Malawi national netball team on Tuesday qualified for the semifinals of the ongoing 2023 Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers in Pretoria, South Africa with a game to after defeating Kenya by 72 baskets to 31.

The queens made it two out of two after recording their second successive win over Kenya in pool B which is comprised of Zambia, Eswatini, and Kenya.

In the first quarter, the Queens struggled as they trailed Kenya 8-6 though they went on to win by 13 goals to 9. At halftime Malawi still narrowly led by 31 goals to 17.

After recess, the Peace Chawinga coached side came hard in the third quarter as they put Kenyans under siege and extended their lead to make it 54-25.

Last quarter, Malawi ignited fire and scored more goals than Kenya who managed just six, and at fulltime time it was Queens 72-31 for Kenya.

Center court player Takondwa Lwazi was named player of the match for her outstanding play and ability to read the game.

“First quarter we did not play our game but when it come to second quarter we did what our coach taught us so we are looking forward since we did not automatically qualify to the world cup so we are training our best so that we can qualify to the world cup”

“She taught us to play our system, Malawian play, not under pressure that is what we did ” said Lwazi

In post-match interviews, the Queens coach Peace Chawinga Kaluwa hailed her girls for outstanding performance and playing according to her instructions

“I am pleased with our transition from defense to attack. I thank the girls for playing so well today.

“It was a good game, and the girls followed what we told them before the game, we were able to keep the ball and our runs were also good.

“We will have another game against Zambia and we are eager to win it as we came here with the mission of qualifying for the World Cup.

“Our play with Zambia is not different but I hope we will make it,” said Chawinga.

This win means the Queens has qualified for the semifinals of the competition with a game to spare against Zambia which will be a decider as to who finishes on top and second of pool B

Malawi beat Eswatin in their opening match on Monday and they will face neighbors Zambia on Thursday from 1400hours.

The winner between Malawi and Zambia will meet the second placed of pool A which comprises of the host South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Tanzania.

Meanwhile, South Africa and Uganda already qualified to 2023 South Africa Netball World Cup after finishing on positions 5 and 6 respectively at 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth games.

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