Blantyre. New Zealand Friday opened the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 with a 64-45 victory over Malawi Queens in an entertaining encounter in Liverpool, England.
The game provided plenty of excitement for the crowd inside the M&S Bank Arena to enjoy, with New Zealand supporters.
The first quarter was a closely-fought contest, with New Zealand edging in front by a score line of 17-11 baskets as the whistle blew, largely thanks to the prolific goal shooter, Maria Fola
By the end of the first quarter, New Zealand had begun to show signs of exerting their dominance in the game.
The position of strength was only increased in the second quarter, as they headed into the halfway point in the match leading by a score of 32-17.
New Zealand goal shooter, Folau and goal attack Ameliaranne Ekenasio linked up well while Queens struggled at times to break down the effective zonal defensive set-up of their opponents.
Malawi pulled two baskets in quick succession through Sindi Simtowe early in the third quarter before Folau got her side back on track.
Malawi’s urgency in possession increased, but with three quarters of the game gone, New Zealand led 49-30.
The final 15 minutes saw New Zealand see the game out, but not without Malawi putting up a fight.
The Queens notched 15 goals in the final quarter, although New Zealand ran out comfortable victors overall.
New Zealand will hope to continue their good form when they face Barbados tomorrow while Malawi will look to bounce back in the same session in their fixture against Singapore.
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