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Malawi put Australia to the test as Barbados claim second win

Malawi produced their best performance of the Netball World Cup 2023 so far to give Australia a run for their money in a Group F clash at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Tuesday.

In the morning’s other match, Barbados were also made to work hard for their victory over a spirited Singapore.

To find out where you can watch all the matches live and on demand from the NWC2023, click here.

Here is a short recap of the action we have seen so far today:

AUSTRALIA 70 - 46 MALAWI

In a nail-biting affair that was not decided until the second half of the match, Australia secured their second successive victory in Group F at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town when they beat Malawi 70-46.

It took a while for Malawi defenders Loreen Ngwira and Towera Vinkhumbu to work out how to box in the Australian shooters but once they got their number, they turned important possession back towards their own goal circle.

Vinkhumbu, who also plays football at national level in Malawi, was outstanding outside the circle as well. 

Five minutes into the second quarter however, Ngwira was helped from court after she went down with what appeared to be an ankle injury. She was replaced by Jane Dambo.  

Malawi started with their strongest seven and it showed at halftime with the scores level at 28-all. The Queens outscored Australia 15-12 in the second quarter, the Diamonds’ first quarter loss in Cape Town.  

The first changes in the Australian line-up were made in the third quarter with Sophie Garbin coming on as goal shooter and Jo Weston as goal defence.  

The 11-time world champions then started building on what would become a healthy lead.

Faster gameplay forced Malawi into silly mistakes like stepping and handling. Jamie-Lee Price’s appearance at centre injected even more urgency for Australia.

With more than 60 per cent of the possession and landing almost 92 per cent of their shots at goal in the last 15 minutes, the Diamonds overcame a shaky start and avoided what would have been the greatest upset in Netball World Cup history.  

Steph Wood only missed one of her 19 shots at goal and her general play as Australian goal attack earned her the Most Valuable Player award.  

BARBADOS 55 - 50 SINGAPORE

Boosted by their first victory of the Netball World Cup 2023 over Sri Lanka on Monday, Singapore produced a strong start in their next Group E clash against Barbados in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Barbados have won all five previous Netball World Cup meetings between these two sides, the most recent one being a 69-34 victory at the last Netball World Cup in Liverpool, in 2019.

Lacking some energy in the opening quarter, it looked like the Bajan Gems’ unblemished head-to-head record might come to an end. They went into the first break one goal down on 12-13.

But Singapore lost momentum somewhat in the second quarter, and a switch of Latonia Blackman to goal attack and Kadeen Corbin to goal shooter for made all the difference for Barbados, who started pulling away to lead 29-24 at halftime.

Like in so many of their previous matches, the Bajans’ intensity level seemed to drop in the third quarter.

Exerting more defensive pressure, Singapore came back at them, first equalising at 33-all and then staying level to reach the final break on 40-40.

Three unanswered goals from Corbin in the first two minutes of the final quarter saw Barbados pulling away again and this time they made it stick. Corbin finished with a 95 per cent shooting average as the Gems secured a 55-50 win.

JAMAICA 61 - 49 UGANDA

With shouts of “defence, defence” from the Jamaican fans in the stands whenever Uganda had the ball, the Sunshine Girls carved out a crucial victory over the She Cranes in a Pool G match in Cape Town on Monday.  

Jamaica goalkeeper Shamera Sterling and goal defence Latanya Wilson stuck like glue to She Cranes shooters Mary Cholhok and Irene Eyaru in the first 15 minutes of the match.

Uganda enjoyed most of the possession at the start of the game. The normally reliable Cholhok however missed four of her 11 shots at goal and this saw the Sunshine Girls 15-11 in the lead after the first quarter.  

In the run-up to halftime, the Jamaica midcourt effectively closed the attacking gaps of the She Cranes and got more access to the ball themselves. Shooter Jhaniele Fowler and goal attack Shanice Beckford maintained a 100 per cent shooting record to put the world number four team 38-21 ahead as the hooter sounded the end of the second quarter. 

Uganda took to court with the same seven players for the second half of the match. With Margret Baagala having another standout centre-court performance, the She Cranes settled down for the first time and allowed the ball to do the work. The result was winning the third quarter 16-11.  

Even though it was an equal-scoring last 15 minutes (12-12), Jamaica managed to hang on for the victory. All 12 players got time on court as every match at this stage of the World Cup is a must-win affair.  

SRI LANKA 52 - 55 SINGAPORE

A team that includes the tallest player in the tournament, 2.06m Tharjini Sivalingam, taking on a combination of the shortest promised to be an intriguing prospect as Sri Lanka took on Singapore in a clash of the Netball World Cup’s bottom-ranked sides.

What Singapore lacked in height, they made up for in speed in the opening quarter, effectively executing their short-pass game to take a nine-goal lead into the first break. A marked improvement in their shooting accuracy made all the difference for the Singaporeans.

Thishala Algama was brought on to replace Sivalingam at goal shooter in the second quarter, however, and that sparked a massive turnaround for Sri Lanka, who swiftly made up the nine-goal deficit and even inched into the lead by halftime.

A tightly contested third quarter meant the teams remained neck and neck, with just two goals in it heading into the final quarter. A miscued pass from the Sri Lankans in the circle with two minutes to play proved to be crucial with the turnover allowing Singapore to edge ahead and claim a 55-52 win.

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