Malawi national netball team, the Queens, on Thursday defeated fast-improving Zimbabwe Gems 59-43 by in a 2019 Vitality World Cup match played in Liverpool, United Kingdom to finish third in the six team Group F below two world's netball superpowers New Zealand and Australia.
Malawi Queens beat Zimbabwe Gems Malawi Queens bear Zimbabwe Gems
The Thursday victory against fellow Africans, gives Malawi a real chance of securing a top six finish.
Malawi will now play the fourth-placed finishers in Group G to determine who will play-off for fifth place while Zimbabwe will play the winner between Uganda and Jamaica in the playoff for seventh place.
Zimbabweans gave Malawi a scare when they started the better side to establish a 4-1 lead.
But Malawi, led by Joyce Mvula and Jane Chimaliro, soon recovered to lead 12-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The Queens still managed to stretch their lead to 10 points (22-12) midway through the quarter, and despite a mini Zimbabwean revival spurred by their passionate support, the margin stayed consistent at half time, with Malawi going in 28-18 up.
Malawi took that momentum into the third quarter, scoring the first seven goals of the segment while Joice Takaidza registered Zimbabwe's first goal of the quarter six minutes into the quarter.
The Zimbabwe Gems appeared to come back into the game with their best performance in the second half of the quarter, eventually, only losing it by four.
However, Malawi's overall lead was growing, and was out to 43-29 by the end of the third period.
The final quarter was to prove the tightest of the game, as Zimbabwe put together an impressive finish, but Malawi had done more than enough to sew up victory and go into the play-off and placing games with real confidence.
Just two of Zimbabwe's World Cup squad ply their trade away from their home country - star shooter Joice Takaidza, who lives in Australia, and Adelaide Muskwe, a student at Nottingham Trent, whose twin brother Admiral plays football for Leicester City.