Zimbabwe’s netball team, the Gems, are bracing for a tough fight against the Queens of Malawi, Thursday, at the Vitality World Cup, where a loss could derail their chances of advancing in the games, to make it to the finals.
In the eyes of many Zimbabwean fans, the Gem’s performance has exceeded expectations, and the team’s latest victory against Barbados, has raised hopes for their game against Malawi.
Though Malawi has always had an edge over Zimbabwe in previous meetings, netball enthusiast Shakeman Gosha is betting on the Gems to upset the Queens of Malawi, who also go by the nickname, the Flames.
“Malawi has always beaten us in most of the games, but history does not remain the season and I think this time, this is our chance,” said Gosha.
Though ranked ninth in the world, and considered a very strong team, avid Gems fans like Samson Muchinapo, still believe their team can beat Malawi, despite its impressive and intimidating record.
“The world rankings do not matter in world sport. With the way we are playing, I think we are far much better than the Flames,” Muchinapo said.
Muchinapo drew his confidence from the Gem’s previous victories against Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland and Barbados who are ranked well above Zimbabwe’s team.
Northern Ireland are ranked eighth, Barbados 11th while Zimbabwe are 13th.
Currently, Zimbabwe is placed fourth in the six team Group F with four points, the same as Malawi, and a win over the Flames could push them to six points, passing the Malawians.
Australia and New Zealand lead the table on eight points. The two teams also meet tomorrow.
Northern Ireland and Barbados will open competition with a game in the morning.