Gems finish 13th at Netball World Cup
Tadious Manyepo in CAPE TOWN, South Africa
THE Gems put on a polished show and secured the 13th place at the 2023 Netball World Cup following a 75-48 win over Barbados this morning at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Zimbabwe were at their sharpest level, controlling the game right from the start, although Barbados appeared to offer some resistance in the opening two intervals when they finished with close scores of 15-14 in the first quarter and 30-28 in the second, in favour of the Gems.
But once Ropafadzo Mutsauki’s girls got into cruise mode, they made their opponents look like amateurs in this game.
By the end of the third quarter, Zimbabwe were 52-35 to the good and still threatening.
Captain Felistas Kwangwa was at her defensive best leading the interceptions tally thanks mainly to Goal Defender Assah Zimusi who once again played a blinder.
With Progress Moyo and Claris Kwaramba in top form in mid-court, Goal Shooter and player of the match Nalani Makunde and Goal Attack Nicole Muzanenamo were unforgiving at the ring.
Mutsauki didn’t temper around with his starting seven only briefly replacing Moyo with Beaula Hlungwani in the second quarter.
Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry cheered the girls from the stands and they responded in the best possible way.
Zimbabwe had to fight for position 13 in the 16-team World Cup after they bowed out of the top 12 contest following some poor performances in the preliminary eliminators.
The Gems finished eighth in their last World Cup appearance in 2019.