After a string of scintillating performances in this year’s Momentum One Day Cup, Akhona “AK” Mnyaka, has caught the eye of the cricket fraternity.

Notably, the 19-year-old’s  most recent moment of brilliance came against the bizhub Highveld Lions when he produced a sensational piece of death bowling in the last over to lead his side over the line in Johannesburg. Mnyaka seized the opportunity and bagged three- wickets in the last over, conceding a mere three runs to make his mark.

Not shy to conquer the big moments, the confident speedster has gained the trust of his team-mates to produce the goods when it comes to pressure situations.

“This has not always been the case, but I have learned to back my skill in every situation.” – a humble Mnyaka explained.

“I try to channel myself into executing and delivering the goods for my team and captain(s), who have backed my bowling throughout my career thus far,” he added.

From the humble streets of Mdantsane, East London, Mnyaka was born into a family of four, him being the youngest.

It was this very place where he was introduced to the game of cricket. Like most young hopefuls, he started participating in the Mini Cricket festivals and then moved up the ranks to the Hubs where he was recognised by Hudson Park High School, one of the Model C Schools in East London.

AK has always kept a level-head in his approach and exquisite knowledge of the game throughout the years and this became evident when he defended 6 runs in a semi-final match against Wynberg during the T20 school’s tournament during his school days.

This sensational trend resumed when he outshone most bowlers in New Zealand during last year’s U19 Cricket World Cup. Mnyaka surpassed all expectations to be the leading wicket-taker for his country.

“It was a great experience. Finishing as the top bowler for my country was special and it is something I will cherish forever.”

All Akhona’s hard work and riveting bowling displays have propelled him to the franchise side, where he has had to face some of South Africa’s top-tier batting talent and prove himself after signing for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

The youngster also has had to adapt swiftly from being a semi-pro player to becoming a professional in the Western Cape side.

“It has been a major shift, but you have to adapt quickly and grasp everything as fast as possible,” AK explains.

“A guy like Vernon Philander, who is someone I look up to, has been significant in my development especially on how to conduct myself on and off the field.

With the season’s “ups and downs”, AK’s star continues to ascend into the limelight and one day soon, he hopes to fulfil one his one of his aspirations, which is to represent the Proteas.