On their first appearance at the Indoor Netball World Cup four years ago in Sydney, Austarlia, the Uganda She Cranes came eighth.
The side has bettered that by one place this time around, after overcoming first-timers Zimbabwe, 58-47, on Sunday.
The first quarter of the first meeting between the sides at the World Cup belonged to She Cranes who were led by the shooting pair of Mary Nuba Cholock and Peace Proscovia. The duo scored 14 times across the quarter as Uganda had a three-goal advantage after the first 15 minutes.
However, Zimbabwe Gems began to cut the deficit and fought through the second quarter but didn’t manage to reduce Uganda’s advantage, and the She Cranes looked comfortable.
Uganda stretched their lead during the quarter with the team’s most impressive player at the tournament Stella Oyella shooting at 100% after replacing Nuba to help take the half-time scoreline to 29-20.
She Cranes captain Proscovia and Joice Takaidza traded goals at the start of the third quarter, but the Zim Gems stepped up as the quarter progressed cutting the deficit to five goals at some point but a strong finish to the period from Uganda saw Oyella score three in succession to give her side a 45-37 lead.
That advantage increased in the early stages of the final quarter and ultimately, the She Cranes won 58-47 much to the delight of Nuba.
“It’s been amazing, and so competitive from day one. Africa is rising – though we are competing with each other, we come from Africa, and we like to keep that bond together,” she said as quoted by the tournament website.