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South Africa fell short against rivals Malawi in a well-organised, tactical display from Malawi.

Better use of the powerplay made all the difference in the opening game of day two of the Fast5 World Series as Malawi took their second win of the tournament, 36-21.

Both teams took some time to get warmed up to open the first game of the day, Malawi went back to basics, shooting only one point goals, and were rewarded with a 5-3 lead at quarter time.  

Malawi’s coach Griffin Saenda admitted after the game that the team’s tactics were to stick to a traditional netball style until their powerplay.

“That was our plan, we told them that in that first quarter just play your normal game, and then in our power play we have to take the long shots and increase our lead,” said Saenda.

South Africa began to find some rhythm in the second quarter on the back of some strong play for centre Marlize De Bruin, but Malawi again stuck at what they know, shooting only one point goals to maintain their lead, 8-6 as they begin their powerplay in the third.

Malawi took full advantage of their powerplay, scoring 24 points in the third, with star shooter Mwai Kumwenda making all of Malawi’s eight shots for the quarter including a three point supershot to extend Malawi’s advantage to 23 points heading into the final term with a 32-9 scoreline.

Kumwenda’s teammate Takondwa Lwazi was full of praise for the shooter, identifying it as a defining moment in the game.

“That shot was very exciting as it gave us motivation to finish the game well, and we are very proud of Mwai as our superstar,” said Lwazi.

South Africa were unable to capitalise on their final quarter power play, only managing 10 points, falling short to a well organised Malawi outfit that held South Africa to 13/24 shooting for the game.

They are yet to register a victory in the Fast5 World Series and left the court searching for answers.

“I don’t know what happened, everything went wrong for us after half time, I’m very disappointed,” said South African goal keeper Fikile Mkhuzangwe.

Malawi’s commitment to basics saw them build a healthy lead through effective one point shooting before taking full advantage of their power play to blow the lead out to an unmatchable margin in the fourth.