Zim net­ball U-21s qual­ify for world cup

Black Caps in con­trol

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo Bon­gani Ndlovu

ZIM­BABWE Un­der-21 net­ball team have qual­i­fied for the pres­ti­gious World Youth Net­ball Cup with two games to spare at the on­go­ing qual­i­fiers in Gaborone, Botswana.

The spir­ited girls sealed their place with a 30-22 win over Uganda on Thurs­day night.

They were meant to take on South Africa yes­ter­day but the game is now more aca­demic than any­thing or for the pur­poses of medal rank­ing.

“I am over the moon, re­ally ex­cited,” said cap­tain Felis­tas Kwangwa.

Zim­babwe Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Let­ti­cia Chipandu said Zim­babwe was now recog­nised and ac­cepted as one of the giants in net­ball.

“We are true am­bas­sadors of our coun­try. Zina has ful­filled one of its ob­jec­tive of em­pow­er­ing women through sport and with proper fund­ing and a fo­cused lead­er­ship, net­ball can com­pete amongt the giants of Africa and re­store Zim­babwe’s pride,” said Chipandu who ac­com­pa­nied the team to Botswana.

She said they were now ex­pect­ing gov­ern­ment to take a keen in­ter­est in the sport by pro­vid­ing fund­ing for the team as they pre­pare for the World Cup fi­nals.

The gov­ern­ment has con­grat­u­lated the net­ball team for their qual­i­fi­ca­tion in the World Cup.

The Min­is­ter of Sport and Re­cre­ation Makhosini Hlong­wane said it was clear that women were do­ing well in sport. Be­sides the net­ball team’s suc­cess, the Mighty War­riors are also in Rio for the Olympics while the hockey Un­der-21 women team also qual­i­fied for the World Cup fi­nals set for San­ti­ago in Chile later this year.

“It’s be­com­ing in­creas­ingly clear that women in sport may be our area of NEW Zealand top or­der bats­men Tom Latham (105) and cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson (91) yes­ter­day dom­i­nated the Zimbabwean bowl­ing at­tack as they guided their team to post a com­mand­ing 315/4 at the close of the sec­ond day of the first test at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

The Black Caps’ top or­der, un­like their Zimbabwean coun­ter­parts were pa­tient and de­lib­er­ate as they steadily paced their first in­nings to quickly erase the Zimbabwean score of 164 all out.

Latham and Martin Gup­til had an overnight score of 32 runs and set out to build a part­ner­ship. They two only added 47 runs be­fore Gup­til was dis­missed for 40 by part-time bowler Chamunorwa Chib­habha with the score at 79.

In came skip­per Wil­liamson join­ing Latham and the two piled 156 for the sec­ond wicket, the high­est so far in the in­nings.

The Zimbabwean bowl­ing at­tack lacked the pur­chase to find a chink in the Black Caps’ bat­ting at­tack as it was de­pleted be­cause off-spin­ner Sean Wil­liams fell ill, rul­ing him out for the day.

Cap­tain Graeme Cre­mer had to rely com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage in re­spect of sport and re­cre­ation in the coun­try. I ex­tend my most pro­found congratulations to our girls who have once again demon­strated that with very hum­ble re­sources there can be no hin­drance to suc­cess,” said Min­is­ter Hlong­wane in a state­ment.

He noted that the lat­est feet comes against the back­ground of a good per­for­mance at the African Union Sports Coun­cil Re­gion Five Un­der-20 Games where Zim­babwe scooped gold.

“I thank them for adding yet an­other feather to their cap, given the fact that this par­tic­u­lar team won gold dur­ing the AUSC Re­gion 5 Games in Bulawayo but most im­por­tantly given the fact that our se­nior national net­ball team are gold medal­ists for Africa. The time has come now for our net­ball au­thor­i­ties to en­gage on a sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment plan to an­chor these spasms of bril­liance on a tra­jec­tory of sus­tain­abil­ity.

“De­lib­er­ate, struc­tural or­gan­i­sa­tional in­ter­ven­tion that links the grass­roots con­stituency of talent to the elite seg­ments of the game is an area that needs at­ten­tion,” he said.

Zim­babwe opened their cam­paign with a 46-24 win over Zam­bia, fol­lowed that up with a 38-20 vic­tory over Namiba be­fore crush­ing hap­less Le­sotho 88-13 in game three. They beat Malawi 53-23.

Four coun­tries, in­clud­ing hosts Botswana will go through to the World Cup fi­nals set for Botswana from July 8 to 16 next year.

The Zim­babwe squad is ex­pected back home tomorrow morn­ing where a mini cer­e­mony has been or­gan­ised for them. on his part-time bowlers Chib­habha, Sikan­dar Raza and Hamil­ton Masakadza to com­ple­ment his strike bowlers Donald Tiri­pano and Michael Chi­nouya.

Cre­mer had to bowl 26 overs out of the 100 overs on a wicket that towards the end of the day was of­fer­ing turn for spin­ners.

It was the part time bowlers that took the vital wick­ets as Chib­habha gave Zim­babwe the break­through dis­miss­ing Gup­til with a late out-swinger edg­ing it to Craig Ervine who was field­ing at gully.

Zim­babwe top or­der bats­man got Latham out, caught by stand in keeper Brian Chari with the New Zealand score at 235.

The next wicket was a bat­tle of cap­tains as Cre­mer got the bet­ter of Wil­liamson turn­ing the ball away from him as he edged it to Masakadza at first slip.

Creamer ac­knowl­edged that they had a dif­fi­cult day in the field but was happy they man­aged to take four wick­ets.

“I knew we were one front line seamer short and I had to do the bulk of the bowl­ing. It was a tough day ob­vi­ously but we got four wick­ets,” said Cre­mer.

He said they would try to sub­due the Black Caps’ bat­ting as much and as long as pos­si­ble.

Prince Mas­vaure (bowl­ing) in ac­tion at Qeens Sports Cub yes­ter­day

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