Netball World Cup: Malawi scores a century against Sri Lanka
Malawi Queens broke their previous World Cup highest score and notched the highest score of the competition when they embarrassed Sri Lanka and handed them a hefty 101-18 defeat.
Malawi who defeated their perennial rivals South Africa 58-51 yesterday, quickly came off the blocks with a strong attacking game. Mwayi Kumwenda opened the scoring and connected well with Sindi Simtowe in goal attack and Bridget Kumwenda in wing attack to grant Malawi a 23-3 lead at end of first quarter.
Malawi rested Sindi Simtowe for Jane Chimaliro in the second quarter in a strategy to maximise their bench in such a less pressured game. Sri Lanka also made wholesome changes for the second quarter with Gayani Dissanayake and Darshika Abeywickrama coming in for Niroshini Paiva and Chamarika Pathigoda. These changes failed to stop Malawi who ran away with 52-6 lead at half time.
Three changes were made by Malawi in the 3rd quarter, bringing in Joyce Mvula for Mwayi Kumwenda in attack and Laureen Ngwira and Martha Dambo for Caroline Mtukule and Grace Mwafulirwa in defence. The 3rd quarter finished 74-11 for Malawi.
Malawi's Towera Vinkhumbo who was solid in defence and restricted Sri Lanka was rested in the fourth quarter as Caroline Mtukule was re-introduced in defence. Sindi Simtowe also came in for Jane Chimaliro.
Encouraged by a crowd baying for blood and chanting for a century, Malawi duly obliged. Shooters Simtowe and Mvula made sure Malawi reached the historic century milestone and added one for décor.
No other country has scored a century since New Zealand's 107-17 win over Cook Islands in 2003 and Malawi will revel in this glory until the next World Cup in 2019 in England.
The game also highlights the growth of African netball and the gulf in talent and strength between the top six teams and the bottom six as well
Malawi's next game is against Singapore. As expected, Singapore will not stop Malawi from topping Pool C and Malawi will qualify for the next round into Pool E joining Jamaica, Australia and runners-up from pool D (Wales or Zambia).