Another resounding victory for Zimbabwe

Another resounding victory for Zimbabwe
Published: 17 July 2019 (1219 Views)
Zimbabwe's senior netball team the Gems, took no time in writing their wrongs at the M&S Bank Arena yesterday evening in Liverpool England, where they are contending for the world cup.

Monday's humiliating defeat to New Zealand 36 to 79 really rubbed off the Gems the wrong way which made them to release their full wrath against Barbados.

Barbados took an early three point lead which didn't last for long as the Gems were out for revenge.

Within a couple of minutes the Gems were on level points with Barbados seven all, and by the end of the first 15 minutes Zim was leading 17 to 11 courtesy of the Gems' sensational shooter Pauline Jani.

However, towards the break Zim lost one of it's superb players Perpetua Siyachitema who succumbed to a brutal fall and had to be replaced by Ndaizivei Madzikangava.

The fall seemed to have dampened the spirit of the Gems regardless, Jani kept the composure of the team  in check by continually scoring which enabled the Gems to go to the break leading 33 -19.

Anna Shepherd the Barbados coach 's halftime insight towards her players seemed to have worked as evidenced by the way her players were now playing upon the start of the second half.

Nevertheless, Shepherd also lost one of her key centre players Rieah Holder, to a nasty fall towards the third quarter who was then replaced by Amanda Knight.

Barbados managed to hold on to their points of 32 against Zim's 48 towards the end of the third quarter.

However, Jani continued to cause problems for Barbados in the final quarter that Shepherd was failing to solve.

The pressure by Zim ended up causing more pandemonium for Barbados as Tonisha Rock-Yaw and Shonette Azore-Bruce collided with each other whilst trying to intercept a pass, leading to Azore-Bruce  coming off injured.

Zimbabwe took full advantage of their opponents' misfortune to extend their lead throughout the final quarter, chalking up a 66-41 win, as Jani ended with 51 goals from her 53 attempts.

Zim's coach Lloyd Makunde was very happy with the result, "I was so confident that we were going to win, I can say we are raising our game and we are going to be one of the big guns a few years to come."
Zim's minister of sport Kirsty Coventry also showed her appreciation towards the Gems "the Gems are showing their talent in the court."

The Zim Gems are now level with Malawi on four points, and play their African rivals in their final Group F encounter on Thursday and if they win they will play for the fifth and sixth position playoffs.
New Zealand and Australia have already booked places in the semifinals after they both demolished their rivals Northern Ireland and Malawi respectively.

The first African litmus test will be today at nine o'clock where South Africa will faceoff with Uganda in their preliminary group G encounter.

- Daniel Itai

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