ZIMBABWE’S Gems registered their third win at the Africa Netball Cup when they beat Zambia 57-51 in a close-contest yesterday at Bellville Velodrome, Cape Town, South Africa.
The Gems are hoping for a top four finish at the show-piece and they picked two important points yesterday although Zambia gave them a good run for their money in game that could have gone either way.
The match started on an even pattern with the first quarter ending 14-13 in favour of Zimbabwe before the Gems upped their game to take a 10-goal lead by half time.
Unfortunately, Zimbabwe’s goal shooter Joice Takaidza had to be stretched off the court mid-way through the second quarter after she landed awkwardly.
Linda Nkorongo took over.
Takaidza, however, returned in the fourth quarter.
Although Zimbabwe emerged winners, they lacked consistency yesterday and allowed Zambia to erase the deficit.
Zambia were trailing by seven goals going into the last quarter.
But a good fighting spirit by the Gems saw them snatching their third victory, which was important if they are to, at least, finish on fourth position at the tournament.
Zimbabwe had hoped for a top three finish but the game against Uganda, which they missed has had a negative effect on their campaign.
The Gems will conclude the competition with a tie against Malawi, who are also a good side.
Speaking to SuperSport after the game, Ropafadzo Mutsauki said she was pleased with the team’s performance and is looking forward to today’s game against Malawi.
“First of all, I am very happy with the play of the team, they played as a team and they managed to utilise our chances, they played (a) slow game but they tried to make sure every chance they get they utilised.
“It was a strategy we used . . . we take more time with the ball and we tried to avoid them to score two goals in advantage so it was a plan.
“I think we will do better (in the) next game because Malawi is a good side. So, we will try by all means to play our usual game against them,” said Mutsauki.