The New Zealand Netball team were pushed all the way before edging to a 50-47 win over Malawi in their opening match of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The unorthodox but highly-effective Malawi provided a challenging contest for Silver Ferns who took the greater part of the match to finally subdue their opponents, after the scores were level at half-time.
The narrow three point win has been labelled an embarrassment by the Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua.
Building slender buffers on several occasions, the New Zealanders were unable to stamp any real authority, an improved defensive effort and more impetus on attack finally seeing them over the line.
For much of the game, the well-performed Malawi threatened to produce one of the biggest upsets in world netball as they crafted probably their best performance ever, in the process leaving the New Zealanders with plenty to ponder ahead of the rest of their Games campaign.
The recent retirement of Irene van Dyk cast Cathrine Latu into the spotlight, the New Zealand circle without their peerless shooter for the first time in 15 years.
After scoring the first three goals, the New Zealanders knew they had a game on their hands as the Malawi Queens refused to take a backward step against the defending Commonwealth Games champions.
The Silver Ferns play Scotland in their second match tonight at 10.30 pm (NZ time).