Zim netball U-21s qualify for world cup
Black Caps in control
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