Australia has continued their dream start to the 2019 Netball World Cup, downing a gallant Zimbabwe in a 73-37 victory.
Following an impressive win against Sri Lanka, the Zimbabwe Gems were hopeful of matching it to the world number ones. Yet, the Diamonds finesse was on full display as they blitzed the World Cup’s newest team.
Whilst the Gems were spirited in their effort, Australia was unforgiving in attack with Kelsey Brown and Paige Hadley creating smooth transitions into the circle, albeit appearing somewhat chaotic at times.
The Gem’s unpredictable and unorthodox playing style forced Australia into committing 28 turnovers and compromised their trademark composure.
However, the Diamonds defensive unit inevitably proved too strong for Zimbabwe. Courtney Bruce was instrumental as Goal Keeper, taking six intercepts by half time.
In a move at odds with the Diamonds active rotation policy, Lisa Alexander persisted with a Caitlin Bassett and Gretel Tippett shooting partnership, aiming to perfect the combination.
Despite a significant height disparity between the Zimbabwean defenders and the Australian shooters, immense physicality from the Gems created some headaches in the Diamonds circle. Yet, with a 90 per cent shooting accuracy, the poise of Bassett and Tippett reigned supreme.
In a performance that earnt her ‘Player of the Match,’ Bassett scored an imposing 49 goals from 53 attempts – the impressive result clearly indicating an unusual five attacking contacts did not phase the star shooter.
Whilst the Gems showed glimpses of immense attacking power, Australia continued to create copious amounts of space, proving important when making up for goals lost to turnovers.
The Gems gave Australia somewhat of a wakeup call, exposing areas of weakness in their side. However, in a 36-goal win, Australia proved even when they are tested, they still possess the ability to triumph with a significant margin.
The Diamonds will be back tomorrow at 12am AEST when they face Sri Lanka in their third World Cup clash.