The Queens lost their opening match to hosts and world number two Australia 34-21. Media reports from Melbourne indicate that the Queens struggled to contain the hosts.
Australia are reported to have capitalised on Malawi’s failure to utilise their able centre playmaker from Thandie Galeta; Australia led 26-12 going into half time.
The Queens were down 31-16 as the third quarter drew to a close but they fought and won the last quarter 5-3, but it was too late as Malawi lost the game 34-21.
Unlike in a ‘normal’ netball game where you can only score from the inner circle and earn a point, in the fast five format, you can score from typically anywhere to earn your team three or two.
It was Malawi’s inability to score outside the inner circle despite Joyce Mvula’s 100% accuracy in the inner circle where she converted all 10 of the chances that came her way.
The Queens only managed one two pointer from Jane Chimaliro against Australia’s nine.
“The game was okay, I can say we didn’t start well but the game was okay,” said Mvula in a post-game interview.
In Malawi’s second game, the Queens came up against an England team ready for revenge. England missed out on their usual third-place finish when they lost 24-23 to Malawi in the third-place playoff at the 2016 Fast Five World Netball Series. England recorded the biggest win of the day when they beat Malawi 43-15.
The Queens delivered a much improved performance against Jamaica who were unbeaten on day one of the competition when they went down 31-24.
Next up for Malawi is their arch-nemesis South Africa who like their fellow Africans lost all their games on Saturday, albeit by slightly more ‘respectable margins that Malawi’s. The Queens will wind up their round-robin matches when they came up against world number one New Zealand who recorded their first ever loss at competition since 2016 to Jamaica. Malawi have never beaten New Zealand. As things stand, Jamaica are assured of a top three finish.
The Fast Five Netball Series attracts the top six netball teams in the world. Malawi is ranked number 6 and is the second-best team in Africa.