Sri Lanka were given a mini scare by Malaysia before they sealed a dramatic 55-53 win in their first game of round 2 at the ongoing Asian Netball Championship 2022 at the OCBC Arena, Singapore yesterday.
Into the early exchange Malaysia were slow to get off the blocks and Sri Lanka took full advantage, going into the 1st quarter with a narrow 15 to 13.
The initial minutes were tentative as each team tried to find their feet, with both connecting well with their shooters. Malaysia got balls to goal utilizing their speed and agility, whilst Sri Lanka delivered the ball to their towering goal shooter Tharjini Sivalingam, who, standing at 6’ 9, is the tournament’s tallest player.
Into the second quarter, the defending Champions looked a little nervous as they lost the momentum at crucial moments and lost the lead midway. Though the early exchanges were lost, Sri Lanka battled back to regain the lead, but Malaysian lasses were equally good, which saw the second quarter/half time end 30-all.
Sri Lanka got back into their element in the third quarter as Goal Shooter Tharjini Sivalingam battled against a very physical Malaysian defense, making shot after shot to ensure that the opponents didn’t get too far ahead.
On the other hand, Malaysia came out of the blocks faster at the start of the third quarter to steal the ball from their opponents, which they hadn’t been capable of before, and scored back-to-back goals to put pressure on the Lankan lasses.
However, Sri Lanka’s athleticism soon shone through again and they controlled the tips, intercepts and turnovers they needed to push on for a superb comeback. The third quarter ended with the Lankan leading 45-38.
The fourth and final quarter was much more even, with Malaysia staying in contention by matching Sri Lanka’s physicality. They continued to dominate and the final quarter saw Sri Lanka pull away to a comfortable 3-goal lead midway through. Malaysia fought back in the final 3 minutes however, to give Sri Lanka a scare as many a pass went awry.
Nevertheless, Sri Lanka held on to register a 2-goal win and extend their unbeaten streak to 3 games.