Zimbabwe hand Botswana first netball cup loss

Botswana battling with Zimbabwe (green). PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Botswana battling with Zimbabwe (green). PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Botswana had a bad day in office on Thursday, suffering defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe, in both the men and women's games at the ongoing Africa Netball Cup played at the UB Indoor Sports Centre.

In the men's game, Zimbabwe won 38-31, before their female counterparts eased to a 56-50 win over Dinaledi. The women's game started at high intensity with Zimbabwe taking the lead. Botswana managed to find their feet and briefly took command but their opponents came from behind to win the first quarter 16-14. Zimbabwe started the second quarter scoring quick points forcing the Botswana coach to switch game plan, taking Ntebogang Motlakaloso to Goal Defense (GD) while Fatima Dino settled behind as a Goal Keeper (GK). The move was meant to contain Zimbabwean shooter, Mawanga Tafadawa and Goal Attacker, Ursula Ndlovu who were brilliant. Zimbabwe continued dominating the game forcing another change, with wing attacker Margaret Banda being substituted. Zimbabwe won the second quarter 36-21. While Zimbabwe were on top, Botswana also had their brilliant exchanges leading to Cheludo David netting.

Zimbabwe extended their lead by winning the third quarter 46-36. Their goal keeper was all over David the entire match leading to her substitution. Zimbabwe went on to claim bragging rights, with a 56-50 win. Zimbabwe assistant coach, Tatenda Shinya said they started the game on a high note but were cautious on the attacking side of their opponents. "We knew that Banda will be a problem for us because she is the one who feeds balls to the scoring cycle. We managed to shut her down and forced Botswana to change their game plan. We dominated the game from the first quarter," he said. Shinya said his players were fitter than Botswana players. He said they also knew that Dino was good at cutting balls and they avoided playing long balls.

Botswana coach, Neo Ntwaagae said her players were fatigued because they only went into camp three days before the tournament. She said they knew Zimbabwe likes power play. "I made some changes. Regarding Hildah Binang, I took her to midcourt because she spent a lot of time trying to pass to David and that is why she missed the target most of the time. This is the same style of play we are going to find when we meet Zambia tomorrow," Ntwaagae said.

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