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Ayabonga Khaka picked up three wickets for South Africa

Ayabonga Khaka brings up 50 with career-best figures

SA v Ban, 2nd WODI, reaction

“Nice to see hard work pay off,” says South Africa’s match-winner in the second ODI against Bangladesh.

Ayabonga Khaka’s 50th one-day international wicket came in a match-winning performance for South Africa Women against Bangladesh Women in Potchefstroom on Sunday 6 May.

Her 3/13 in the second ODI, which the hosts won by nine wickets, are the best figures of her career. The 25-year-old pacer now has 51 wickets from 49 matches.

In the absence of Marizanne Kapp, Khaka took the new ball and ran through the Bangladesh top order to have them struggling at 10/3. They never could quite recover, and folded for 89 in 39.5 overs.

“[It was] nice to see hard work pay off,” said Khaka after the match. “I was only working on my wrist, to make sure I get the ball behind the wrist. Fortunately it went well and I could swing the ball.”

Khaka said she didn’t realise she was close to a personal milestone. Having made her debut back in September 2012, incidentally against Bangladesh, it is only in the past couple of years that she’s established herself as a vital member in a strong South African pace attack. Often coming in as the first change bowler behind Shabnim Ismail and Kapp, her captain expects her to contain line-ups.

“As a bowler my job is just to bowl dots. But today I got the new ball and I had to strike for the team and everything went right,” Khaka explained.

South Africa needed just 17.1 overs to knock off the runs and wrap up a dominant performance. With an early finish, the team decided to use the time to train some more.

Salieg Nackerdien, the interim coach, had stressed that improving their batting against spin was one of the team’s goals from the series, and the players kept at it. It was a clear message that despite leading 2-0 in the five-match series, there would be no let up in intensity.

The third match of the series will be on Wednesday 9 May.

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