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The  SPAR Baby Proteas overcame a feisty Zimbabwe to record their second victory at the World Netball Youth Cup in Gaborone,  Botswana, on Sunday. They beat their northern neighbours 56-42 after leading 28-22 at halftime.


Zimbabwe came storming out and went into an early lead, leaving the South Africans slightly shell-shocked. But by the middle of the first quarter,  the SPAR Baby Proteas had eased past them to lead by 14 goals to 10 at the first break.


The match was very physical, and supporters of both teams got into the spirit of things, chanting slogans and blowing vuvuzelas.


The second quarter was fairly even, with neither side able to dominate. They generally managed to hold their centre passes, but both teams achieved some excellent turnovers, with the ball moving from end to end.


In the third quarter, Zimbabwe managed to reduce the goal deficit to two, before SPAR Baby Proteas clawed their way back into the game and extended the margin to six goals.


However, the Zimbabweans appeared to wilt in the final quarter, as SPAR Baby Proteas took control of the court. The Zimbabwean coach brought on a string of substitutes to provide fresh legs, but by this time the SPAR Baby Proteas had surged ahead, leaving Zimbabwe with too much to do.


SPAR Baby Proteas coach, Dorette Badenhorst said she had expected a tough and very physical match and had selected her team accordingly.


“We played them in the qualifiers and I knew what to expect, so I chose players who were able to stand up to the physicality,” she said.


“I am very pleased we have a day off tomorrow so we can recover and prepare for our matches against Singapore and Australia on Tuesday and Wednesday.”