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Rossouw hits fastest ton in PSL as Multan beats Quetta

MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — Rilee Rossouw smashed the fastest-ever Pakistan Super League century as the Multan Sultans recorded a convincing 30-run win against the Quetta Gladiators on Saturday to go top of the table with eight points from four victories.

Persistent rain in Rawalpindi prompted the abandonment of the match between two-time champion Islamabad United and 2017 champion Peshawar Zalmi without a ball being bowled. Both teams shared a point each and now have five points each from five games.

At Multan, Rossouw’s robust unbeaten 100 off 44 balls against his former franchise had provided Multan a strong total of 199-5 as the left-hander plundered 10 fours and six sixes. Captain Shan Masood (46) shared a 139-run fourth-wicket stand with Rossouw, who batted aggressively against young fast bowler Naseem Shah (1-45) and Sohail Khan (1-45).

Shane Watson (80 off 41 balls) kept Quetta in the hunt with his first half century in this year’s PSL but once he was dismissed in the 16th over Quetta's victory push faltered with the team eventually reaching 169-7.

Moeen Ali, who dropped Watson on 69 off Imran Tahir, made amends in the legspinner's next over by taking a clean catch at long off. “That was just one of a kind (innings), if anyone could have done it, it was Rilee Rossouw,” Shan said after his team secured its third home victory of the season to extend its perfect record in Multan.

“He (Rossouw) just teed off... made the job easy,” the captain added. Seamer Bilawal Bhatti, playing his first game for Multan after replacing Shahid Afridi, took 3-26 while the experienced Tahir took 2-27.

Bad weather in Rawalpindi cancelled Quetta’s scheduled flight to Multan on Friday evening and the organizers had to fly out the title defenders to the city on an Air Force plane just hours before the game started at Multan Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Quetta didn’t look particularly fatigued as its fast bowlers restricted Multan to 48-3 in the eighth over before Rossouw began his domination of the bowlers with some powerful hitting. Rossouw completed his century in the last over off 43 balls and bettered Islamabad United batsman Cameron Delport’s previous record of a 49-ball hundred in the PSL, made against Lahore Qalandars at Karachi last year.

Quetta, with three wins and two defeats, has six points and is in second place in the six-team Twenty20 tournament. On Sunday at Rawalpindi, Islamabad will take on Karachi Kings, which is at the fifth spot with four points from four games. Lahore Qalandars has lost all its three games and is at the bottom of the table without a point.

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