The height of Tharjini Sivalingam was certainly a factor, as the 2.06m-tall Goal Shooter sunk in 51 goals from 57 attempts, with a 89% shooting percentage. Sri Lanka last won the tournament back in 2009, but will fancy their chances based on the form they have shown in the opening stages of the M1 Asian Netball Championships.
Sri Lanka scored the 25 points in the first quarter when Indian only scored eight points and also they secured the second quarter as well with 33-4 points. Last two quarters were concluded 20-7 and 22-10 respectively.
Sri Lanka coach Thilaka Jinadasa commented: “We are very confident as all these years we’ve been doing well in the Asian Netball Championships. The advantage we have is that Tharjini is back on the team after four years, so we have a better chance of winning this year. We also have consistency – whoever I put on the court can play whatever we have practiced and we have a strong set up on court.’
‘I think we need to work more on our defensive line. It’s hard to do that against teams like India and Chinese Taipei, but when we play against an experienced team, it will be a different ball game.”
Sri Lanka tops Group B with two wins out of two games after beating India 101-29. They are through to the Cup grouping (Group E).
Malaysia followed up their victory over Japan yesterday with a convincing 74-13 win over the Maldives. Despite a spirited start by the islanders, Malaysia pushed on strongly throughout the game and look to be a strong contender to retain their Asian Netball Championships crown from 2016. However, it was a below-average shooting percentage from the team, and will be a key focus for the team as they as they move towards the next round of games where they will meet rivals Singapore and Sri Lanka.
Singapore put in a strong performance to overwhelm an inexperienced Pakistan side in their second match of the M1 Asian Netball Championships, to take the win with a score line of 84-17.
In the final match of the day, Hong Kong ran out 65-38 winners against Thailand. With both a height and experience advantage, Hong Kong dominated the first two quarters of the match. Thailand closed the gap in the second half, narrowly losing the third (13-15) and fourth (9–14) quarters as Hong Kong slowed down but ultimately, it wasn’t enough.
With Hong Kong just needing a win over the Philippines tomorrow to secure the top spot in their group, they will value the stern test they received today.
Day 3 of the M1 Asian Netball Championships will see India take on Chinese Taipei at 1pm, followed by Hong Kong matching up against Philippines. Japan will battle it out with Maldives at 5pm, and the final game will be between Brunei and Pakistan at 7pm.