Proteas Women’s Ayabonga Khaka wants to make new ball talk in final India ODI

Proteas Women’sstar Ayabonga Khaka ready to get stuck into India in the third ODI. Picture: Marco Longari / AFP

Proteas Women’sstar Ayabonga Khaka ready to get stuck into India in the third ODI. Picture: Marco Longari / AFP

Published Jun 22, 2024


Experienced fast bowler Ayabonga Khaka is relishing the opportunity to lead the Proteas Women's bowling attack in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) against India at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Khaka will take the new ball in the absence of the retired Shabnim Ismail and veretan all-rounder Marizanne Kapp, who is currently building up her bowling workload following a minor back injury.

“It's a new role for me. I've been (bowling first change) for the team for so long. Opening the bowling is a new role and I am trying to figure it out,” Khaka said.

“We always had a great bowling unit, everyone put up their hand. It's always nice to play with people like that.

“We know each other as a group. I'm just enjoying the moment. It's challenging for me, but I'm embracing it,” the 31-year-old noted.

In the ongoing ODI series against India, Khaka has led the charge for her country, recording impressive figures of 3/47 in her 10 overs in the first encounter before following that up with a disciplined return of 0/51 in a high-scoring second match, alongside a South African seam attack featuring Masabata Klaas, Nadine de Klerk and Annerie Dercksen.

The Proteas Women still have a lot to play despite being 2-0 down the in the series, as all matches count towards qualification for the 2025 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.

“Tomorrow (Sunday) is also important for us. It's all about the points. We'll take the game as it comes. I think we'll play two games on the same pitch, so it's all about us going there and executing whatever that we do as a team,” Khaka said.

Reflecting on the learnings from the narrow four-run defeat in the second ODI, Khaka pointed out the key areas for improvement.

“It was a great game but we didn't win. I think with the bowling as well, the bowling unit gave away a lot in the last 10 overs and we took the lessons out of that. And also with the batting, maybe we could have done better.”

“I think everyone is working hard on our fielding. Some days it comes off, some days it doesn't come off, but we'll keep on working hard and making sure that we execute.”

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