Photo Credit: BCCI
After a ten-over breather, Khaka returned for a second spell and pitched the ball up even further, yielding a breakthrough with her third ball as Sultana was clean bowled.
Her next over? Two wickets in three balls and the spirit of Bangladesh’s run chase snapped, a pair of beautifully pitched up deliveries that induced nicks to Trisha Chetty.
Khaka’s 100th ODI wicket came with her worst ball of the day – and probably one of the worst of them all – as Rumana Ahmed chopped a wide one to Chetty.
Head coach Hilton Moreeng paid tribute to Khaka, saying, “For sure she is the unsung hero of this attack but she is growing in stature herself.
“She has been consistent, economical and worked extremely hard to improve her game. She’s getting the rewards for the hard work and the professionalism she has shown over the years.
“She is a good student of the game and assesses any opposition and any conditions very well. That’s what gives her the edge in games like today when the chips are down.
“We are proud of her today and she deserves all the accolades.”
So much credit has to go to Bangladesh, ranked number six in the world and making a long-awaited first World Cup appearance here.
Talismanic seamer Jahanara Alam and teenager Fariha Trisna bowled beautifully in tandem up front, showing they are far more than just a series of wily spinners.
They rallied hard after Khaka did the middle-overs damage, with Ritu Moni and captain Nigar Sultana for a pinch-hitting partnership to rival the best at this level.
Bangladesh will pose a real threat to top teams starting with New Zealand on Monday, themselves looking to get their World Cup back on track.
South Africa have a whole heap of work to do to challenge and on the strength of this lukewarm performance. But when it comes to Khaka – don’t say you weren’t warned.