A fiery spell by Pakistan’s right-arm Hassan Ali and left-arm Shaheen Afridi crushed the South African batting order cruising green shirts through a 95-run win on the fifth day

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Cricket: Pakistan beat S. Africa to clinch Test series

A fiery spell by Pakistan’s right-arm Hassan Ali and left-arm Shaheen Afridi crushed the South African batting order, cruising green shirts through a 95-run win on the fifth day of the second Test match in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Monday.

The thumping victory marks Pakistan’s first-ever triumph in a Test series against Protease since 2004.

South Africa, which needed a daunting target of 370 runs on a tricky pitch to draw the two-match Test series, was bowled out at 274 minutes before the tea break.

Medium-fast Ali, who made a comeback after a year break due to a back injury, took career-best 10 wickets in the match with five wickets in each innings. He was declared man of the match.

Speed-star Afridi supported Ali well, taking four wickets in the second, and one wicket in the first innings.

Wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan, who played an unbeaten knock of 115 runs in the second innings, was declared man of the series.

Earlier, protease began their second innings at 127-1, soon wobbled as the fiery duo of Ali and Afridi did not allow the batsmen to settle, collecting wickets with short intervals.

South African opener Aiden Markram, who scored a fighting 108, and Temba Bavuma’s 61 offered some resistance to the green shirts, but a new-ball spell by Ali and Afridi overpowered them.

The victory gave Babar Azam, who was forced to sit out the recent New Zealand series due to a fractured thumb, a second consecutive win as Test captain.

Pakistan, under his captaincy, routed Protease in the first Test match played in Karachi by seven wickets late last month.

The 2-0 win also brought a struggling Pakistan on the fifth position in the International Cricket Council’s Test series ranking.

The teams will now play three T20 games in the northeastern city of Lahore on Feb. 11, 13, and 14.

International cricket has gradually returned to Pakistan since 2015, following years of suspension after a 2009 terrorist attack on a touring Sri Lankan side in Lahore.

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