Africa's first litmus test

Africa's first litmus test
Published: 18 July 2019 (1068 Views)
It was a David and Goliath scenario as the Proteas of South Africa collided with the She Cranes of Uganda at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool England for the netball world cup semifinals placement.

The Proteas were ruthless from the start leaving no margin for error as they cushioned themselves with an early lead.

However, despite their differences in world rankings the She Cranes were continually proving that they were not going to go down without a fight which enabled them to narrow the margin to just one point in the second quarter 13 - 12.

Uganda's Stella Oyella and Peace Proscovia were causing mayhems for the Proteas' defense regardless, South Africa's shooter Lenize Potgieter made the efforts made by Uganda look futile.

The first half ended 31 - 23 in favor of the Proteas. Uganda's coach Rashid Mubiru must have imparted some useful tactics during the halftime break as evidenced by the way the She Cranes were now playing.

Oyella stood up to the occasion and managed to propell the Ugandans to narrow down to a five point margin gap of 30 - 35.

She Cranes' fans were also showcasing their support for the team which enabled them to uplift their mojo.
However, the She Cranes began to lose their composure towards the final third quarter and the Proteas' Bongiwe Msomi and Maryka Holzhau capitalised on that eventually leading to a 46 - 33 by the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter was now more of a student, teacher scenario as the Proteas widened their gap by 27 points eventually resulting in a 67 - 40 defeat for the Ugandans.

South Africa 's minister of sport Nathi Mthethwa conveyed his gratitude towards the Proteas,  "thanks to the incredible Proteas team and their 67 - 40 victory against Uganda. What a magnificent job our girls have done representing our country, thank you and well done."

South Africa's Lenize Potgieter was named the player of the match. The Proteas have qualified for the first time for the semifinals due to take place on Saturday where they will face off either against England, Australia or New Zealand.

Another African encounter will be on today at half past two when the Queens of Malawi take on the Gems of Zimbabwe in a battle for the fifth and sixth playoffs.

- Daniel Itai

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