Zimbabwe defeated Barbados to secure 13th place while Singapore got the better of Sri Lanka to secure 15th place in their final matches of the Netball World Cup 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday.
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Here is a short recap of the action we have seen so far today:
SINGAPORE 49 - 46 SRI LANKA
Singapore and Sri Lanka renewed their rivalry in the battle for 15th place at the Netball World Cup in Cape Town on Friday.
The sides have already met at this tournament, with Singapore winning by three goals on that occasion while it was Sri Lanka who prevailed in their previous 15th-place showdown at a Netball World Cup in 2019.
As expected, Friday’s encounter was a neck-and-neck encounter but it was the Singaporeans who had the edge, grinding out a 49-46 victory.
It was a much better start from Sri Lanka compared to the last clash between the two sides in Cape Town where they found themselves nine goals down after the first quarter and playing catch-up throughout.
Singapore were punished for offensive contact on three occasions in the first quarter which proved costly while Sri Lanka took advantage of their greater possession (60 per cent), easily finding Thishala Algama in the circle.
Once again, shooting accuracy was a talking point in the match – the Sri Lankans firing in 15 of their 16 attempts while Singapore’s numbers stood on eight from 11. That saw the Sri Lankans reaching the first break 8-15 up.
Sri Lanka found it much tougher to find their shooters in the second quarter as Singapore’s defensive unit upped their intensity, allowing them to win the quarter by one goal but they still faced a deficit of six with the Sri Lankans heading into halftime 20-26 in front.
The third quarter belonged to Singapore, their fluency and intensity seeing them quickly closing the gap.
They were dealt a blow when, with five minutes left in the quarter, wing defence Shu Ning Yew went down with a knee injury and was wheeled off court by medics. She was replaced by Ting Fang Khor but Singapore continued to dominate, winning the period 16-10 and finding the all-important equaliser with 15 seconds remaining in the period.
That meant it was all still to play for in the final 15 minutes. Having upped her percentage considerably from the opening period, Amandeep Chahal was rock solid in the Singapore circle, sinking nine of her 10 attempts as Singapore moved in front and held on for a memorable 49-46 victory over the Asian champions. The goal shooter was later named Most Valuable Player.
ZIMBABWE 75 - 48 BARBADOS
Zimbabwe avenged their 45-62 loss against Barbados earlier in the week when they beat the Bajan Gems 75-48 to finish in 13th position at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town.
Four years ago at the Netball World Cup 2019 in Liverpool, Zimbabwe claimed eighth place and Barbados 12th.
Right from the beginning, Zimbabwe took control, leading by three points early on.
Goal attack Nicole Muzanenamo was in excellent form, receiving accurate passes from the mid-court and converting her shots effectively. She utilised impressive split landings once again to position herself well for scoring.
Barbados managed to narrow the gap to just one goal (14-15) before the end of the first quarter, with a goal from Kadeen Corbin.
The second quarter saw back-and-forth action, with multiple intercepts and closely contested play around the goal circles.
Zimbabwe’s Nalani Makunde scored four consecutive goals just before halftime, giving her team a 30-28 lead.
The Gems maintained their momentum and in the third quarter they surged ahead with a substantial lead, outscoring Barbados by 22 to seven.
The scoreboard showed 52-35 in favour of Zimbabwe at the start of the final quarter, which then promised more of the same as the Zimbabwe Gems completely outplayed Barbados.
Throughout the match, Zimbabwe’s fitness played a crucial role, as they made only two changes during the entire 60 minutes.
In the last 15 minutes, Zimbabwe’s defenders limited Barbados’ scoring opportunities, resulting in a significant lead of up to 24 points at one stage.
When the match concluded, Zimbabwe emerged victorious with a 27-goal lead to finish the competition in 13th place.