RAWALPINDI: Opening batter Usman Khan decimated Quetta Gladiators’ bowlers as he struck the fastest century of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and powered Multan Sultans to the highest total in the league’s history.
Put into bat first, the Sultans made full use of the ideal batting conditions on offer at the Pindi Cricket Stadium here and accumulated 262/3 – the highest total in PSL – at the back of a scintillating century by Usman.
The new opening pair of Sultans – Usman and Mohammad Rizwan – charged the Gladiators’ bowlers right from the start as the pair took their side to 91/0 after the end of the first powerplay with Usman leading the baton charge.
The right-handed young batter was ruthless against his former franchise so much so that he overshadowed Rizwan, who was scoring at around 200 striker rate.
Usman kept on dominating the bowlers and struck the fastest century of PSL in 36 balls, breaking his teammate Rilee Rossouw’s record, who achieved the milestone in 41 deliveries.
His belligerent hitting soon took the Sultans past 150 at the halfway mark and thus, they were looking comfortable to become the first side to breach the 300-run mark in T20s.
Gladiators’ stand-in captain Mohammad Nawaz, finally found the breakthrough for his side as he got the dangerous Usman stumped on the first delivery of the 11th over.
Usman remained the top-scorer for the Sultans as he scored a quickfire 120 in mere 43 deliveries, laced up with 12 boundaries and nine sixes.
Following his dismissal, Sultans’ captain Rizwan looked to maintain their dominance over Gladiators and stitched a brief 30-run partnership with Rossouw, who perished cheaply for a nine-ball 15.
Rizwan then switched gears and led the attack from the front and soon brought up his half-century amid his third-wicket partnership with Tim David before Qais Ahmed got rid of him in the 15th over.
He scored a brisk 55 off 29 balls, smashing six boundaries and two sixes.
Kieron Pollard and David then made sure the Sultans did not lose their towards a massive total as the pair stitched an unbeaten 58-run stand at the backend.
David remained unbeaten with a 25-ball 43 which featured one boundary and four sixes, while Pollard scored 23 off 14.
For the Gladiators, Qais picked up two wickets while Nawaz could bag one.