She Cranes lost to Malawi Queens on Friday

Malawi remain on course to equal their best ever finish at the Vitality Netball World Cup after a hard fought 55-44 victory against fellow African side, Uganda.

In 2007, Malawi famously defeated South Africa to register a significant fifth place in Auckland.

Their win over Uganda on Friday ensured they will be competing in the fifth-place play-off match for the fourth consecutive World Cup and if they are to equal their exploits of 12 years ago, they will need to find a way past world number two, Jamaica.

Uganda, meanwhile, will hope to go one better than their eighth place in Sydney in 2015, when they take on tournament newcomers Zimbabwe in the play-off for seventh.

Uganda trailed 12-9 at the quarter break but their wastefulness at the start of the second quarter was punished, as the lead went out to five despite Malawi untidy passing.

Malawi were able to exploit the space behind Uganda’s mid-court players to the half as they had started, firing on all cylinders to hold a 27-19 advantage at the break.

Mary Nuba Cholock stepped into the Uganda attack for the second half, and her presence made a difference immediately as she registered two early strikes.

An enormous leap by Proscovia, now playing goal attack, helped Uganda pull back to 32-27, and the crowd inside the M&S Bank Arena sensed that a comeback could be on. However this hope was dampened by more loose possession from the She Cranes.

Cholock and Proscovia were still proving a potent combination, but Mvula was equally effectively at the other end, landing the final goal of the quarter to make the score 41-35.

Uganda wasted their first centre pass of the fourth and the deficit was back to seven. And while Nanyonga registered the game’s final goal, the celebrations on the final whistle belonged to Malawi.

Not to be outdone by the post-game rhythm of the Zimbabweans, the Queens brought their own exuberance and energy to the court – celebrating their qualification for the fifth-place play-off with their vocal fans.

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