Multan Sultans knock Quetta Gladiators out of playoffs race

Multan Sultans Saturday trumped Quetta Gladiators by nine runs during the 28th fixture of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2023, being played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.
Chasing a huge target of 263 runs, the Gladiators were restricted to 253-8 in 20 overs.
Despite the fifties by Omair Yousuf (67 off 36) and Iftikhar Ahmed (53 off 31), the Gladiators fell short of the target in their final league stage match of the tournament.
For the winning side, pacer Abbas Afridi bagged figures of 5-47 in four overs which included a hat-trick.
It must be noted that 515 runs in this game are the highest-ever match aggregate in T20 history, a format that has seen over 12,000 matches.
Earlier, Sultans opener Usman Khan scored the fastest hundred in PSL history in 36 balls during a match against Quetta as his side posted the highest total, 262-3, in the tournament’s history.
Usman broke teammate Rilee Rossouw’s record of the fastest ton in 41 balls, which was set in yesterday’s match between Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi. He scored 120 runs in 43 balls with the help of 12 fours and nine sixes.
Meanwhile, the record for the highest total was previously held by Islamabad United — who scored 247-2 against Peshawar in 2021.
Quetta’s spinner Qais Ahmed conceded 77 runs in four overs, which is the most expensive bowling in the history of PSL. This is also jointly the third-most expensive bowling in the history of T20 cricket.
Mohammad Rizwan scored 55 runs in 29 balls which included six fours and two sixes.
Tim David remained unbeaten on 43 runs in 25 balls which were laced with four massive sixes.
Qais claimed two wickets; meanwhile, Mohammad Nawaz bagged one scalp.
It must be noted that the Gladiators won the toss and decided to bowl first against the Sultans. Mohammad Nawaz led the Gladiators in the absence of Sarfaraz Ahmed, who missed the last match as well after the latter failed to recover from his finger injury.
By winning today, Sultans — who have already qualified for the playoffs of the tournament — not only knocked the Gladiators out of the playoffs race but also ensured that Zalmi booked their spot in the knockout stage.
Like last year, Gladiators and Karachi Kings have once again failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Playing XIs
Multan Sultans: Usman Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk/c), Rilee Rossouw, Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Khushdil Shah, Anwar Ali, Usama Mir, Abbas Afridi, Izharulhaq Naveed, Ihsanullah
Quetta Gladiators: Jason Roy, Martin Guptill, Omair Yousuf, Mohammad Hafeez, Iftikhar Ahmed, Umar Akmal (wk), Mohammad Nawaz (c), Qais Ahmad, Umaid Asif, Naveen-ul-Haq, Aimal Khan