In the final match of Day 1, hosts South Africa, ranked 5th in the world netball world rankings, defeated Botswana at 28th.
The match began with the ball rolling back and forth for 90 seconds before South Africa finally scored the first goal. South Africa then took an early 4–1 lead, however the Botswana circle defense began to reward for the heavy pressure they were applying and went into a two-goal lead. South Africa made a comeback just before the quarter-time whistle with a score of Botswana 12 – 11 South Africa.
The match was going goal for goal at the start of the second quarter, with both attacks making good decisions and being patient in their build-up play with the score level halfway through the quarter. South Africa half time score Botswana 23 – 26 with South Africa taking a small lead.
Botswana made five changes for the third quarter, although this did not stop South Africa’s momentum as they scored the first three goals of the quarter. South African fans cheering for their side and players reacting as they took control of the match, the whole team working together as a unit. With 15 minutes to go, South Africa had extended their lead with a score of Botswana 32 – 48 South Africa.
Both sides struggled to find their flow with several unforced errors at the start of the final quarter as only four goals were scored in the first five minutes. South Africa’s circle defense was forcing the Botswana shooters to take long-range shots, making them look uncomfortable as they extended their lead to 20 in the middle of the quarter. A solid second half from the SPAR Proteas earned them their first win of the tournament as the match ended in Botswana 37 – 60 South Africa.
Zambia 46 – 30 Kenya
The second match of Day 1 was Pool B’s first match with Zambia, ranked 17th in the world netball world rankings, who are ranked 40th ahead of Kenya.
The match started with only two goals in the first 150 minutes as both the sides were patient in their game. Zambia’s defense then began flipping the ball as their pressure was forcing errors in Kenya’s attack. Zambia took an 11-6 lead after the first 15 minutes.
Zambia had the momentum going into the second quarter as they extended their lead to 10 goals in the first five minutes of the quarter as Kenya struggled to break Zambia’s defence. Kenya, however, fought well and actually ended the quarter with half-time scoring Zambia 21 – 16 Kenya.
Kenya started building in confidence after six minutes into the third quarter with a deficit of just four goals. However, Zambia’s defense again began to block Kenya’s attack and at the break of the third quarter, Zambia led 35–23.
Kenya turned their side again in the final quarter with five changes, although Zambia looked clinical across the court and secured their first win of the tournament with Zambia 46 – 30 Kenya.
Namibia 54 – 40 Tanzania
The first match of the Netball World Cup Qualifier – Africa saw Namibia ranked 23rd in the World Netball World Rankings, ahead of Tanzania in 41st place.
Namibia started the match with a high intensity to their game and they scored the first four goals of the match. The Namibian shooters looked strong in the goal and were scoring from all areas. Tanzania managed to score only two goals in the first seven minutes, however, they consolidated the quarter with a quarter-time score Namibia 14 – 9 Tanzania.
Tanzania reduced the deficit to just four goals by scoring the first goal of the second quarter. Namibia threatened to break away several times in the quarter, although Tanzania continued to fight back, with Namibia scoring nine goals at half-time.
The second half continued to follow the same pattern as the first half and Tanzania fought hard to stay in the match. They managed to reduce Namibia’s lead to six goals on several occasions, however, Namibia kept their composure to take the lead by nine goals and Namibia were 42–33 with Tanzania with 15 minutes to go.
Namibia found their flow in the final quarter as they extended their lead with the final score Namibia 54 – 40 Tanzania. Give Namibia their first win in Pool A.