The first match of the International Netball Test Series between South Africa and England has delivered exciting fireworks with the visitors winning 63-58 after extra time at Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town on Friday.
South Africa were back in the same venue nearly a month after clinching Africa Netball Cup. The series is part of the 2023 Netball World Cup preparations that will be hosted at Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The series consists of three matches that will be played from 29-31 November 2019.
The two sides aren’t strangers to one another as they held horns in this year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England finished third after beating South Africa for the bronze match.
The home side started on a high with visitors fighting back. Proteas goal scorer Lenize Potgieter scored the Proteas early points.
It was England who went at the end of first quarter leading 15-12.
Back the first break, England wasn’t sitting at back but kept on pushing the Proteas taking an early lead.
The visitors showed their experience stretching the lead over the home side.
Jess Thirlby’s charges went to halftime leading the Proteas 28-23.
The match delivered top quality inside third quarter with both sides going toe to toe. South Africa finally took advantage ending third quarter with a slightly 40-39.
The match ended with both sides tied on 51-51. After match officials consultation the match was going to be decided by extra time.
The match went to first break with 56-57 to England who came back to win the match 63-58.
The two sides will meet here again on Saturday.