The Malawi Queens netball team kept their 2015 Netball World Cup good run on the boil on Sunday in Australia when they finished top of Group C after winning all their three games to set up a quarter-final showdown against losers in today’s Pool D final match between leaders Uganda and second-placed Wales.
Inspired by Mwawi Kumwenda and Sindi Simtowe, Malawi swept aside Singapore 75-31 at Sydney Olympic Park. However, despite the 44-goal margin victory, it was not a stroll in the park for the Queens against a side ranked nine places behind them. They held their own.
In the first quarter, the Queens attacked with breath-taking magnificent flair. Once again, it was Kumwenda and Simtowe on show—mind you this was not the name of a law firm, but a deadly attacking combination that had a 100 percent shooting accuracy in the first quarter and then missed just two in the second to claim 95 percent, a stuff that dreams are made of.
So captivating was New Zealand-based Mwawi’s play that the commentator on SuperSport 2, could not help but wax lyrical about her, saying: “She is not only a player, but an entertainer.”
The Queens led 21-9 in the first quarter. The second quarter started at full throttle characterised by deft touches and an interlude of beautiful passes that charmed the turnout.
Charmaine Soh, who was arguably the player-of-the-match, stunned the Queens and the spectators alike with her long-range shots; however, tight marking from the Malawi defence led to a number of pressured turn overs.
Singapore struggled to slow the Malawian attack, particularly in transition when they sped down the court.
At half time, coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua again rested Mwawi for Joyce Mvula, who just like in the match against Sri Lanka, took the breath away with her accuracy in shooting and movement.
And according to nwc2015.com.au, the introduction of Shiqi Ang and Kimberly Lim in the second half added fresh legs to Singapore’s attack line and their safe use of the ball.
The Queens’ speed continued to pose a challenge for Singapore, with Bridget Kumwenda slicing through court and Mvula adding a new dimension to the Queens’ attack line.