Proteas hand Gems second straight loss


ZIMBABWE’S netball team’s awful start at the ongoing Spar Diamond Challenge Cup continued yesterday with a 72-37 hammering by the pre-tournament favourites South Africa in Pretoria yesterday.

This was their second straight loss in a space of 24 hours they succumbed to a narrow 55-50 defeat to South Africa's President's XII in their opening match on Tuesday.

The tournament, which will run up to Saturday, features Scotland, Zimbabwe and South Africa's two sides — the Spar Proteas and the President's XII.

Yesterday, Zimbabwe fielded virtually the same team which played against Presidents XII, with Ursula Ndlovu joining Tafadzwa Matura in the goal shooting circle as she stood in for Sharon Bwanali who was injured on Tuesday.

The Gems suffered another injury scare after Tanaka Makusha failed to complete the first quarter when she limped out of the court and was substituted by Elizabeth Mushore. She was later introduced in the final quarter.

The Gems failed to keep up with the Spar Proteas who seized control of the match from the onset and led 20-9 after the first quarter.

They widened the gap to 30-17 at half-time before increasing the advantage to 27 points in the third quarter.

In an effort to ensure all players get the much needed game time, the Gems coaches continued to make changes and shuffling players, with rising goal shooter Thandazile Ndlovu also making her debut appearance for the national team.

The changes, however, did little to stem the tide as the Proteas continued their dominance, sealing their victory with a 35-goal advantage.

Zimbabwe will be hoping to salvage some pride when they take on Scotland on Friday.

Follow Magreth on Twitter @MagrethRuzvidzo

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