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Multan Sultans' Abbas Afridi (right) celebrates the wicket of Quetta Gladiators' Umar Akmal (left) as he walks back during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket match at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi. Image Credit: AFP

Rawalpindi: Unheralded opener Usman Khan smashed the Pakistan Super League’s fastest century and fast bowler Abbas Afridi took a hat trick as Multan Sultans eliminated Quetta Gladiators from the playoffs race on Saturday.

Usman’s 36-ball century came a day after Rilee Rossouw lowered his own record with a 41-ball century.

Usman racked 12 fours and nine sixes in his 120 off 43 balls as Multan compiled a PSL-record total of 262-3.

Quetta, which hasn’t qualified for the playoffs since winning the title in 2019, fought well to reached 253-8 and lose by nine runs. Quetta lost for the seventh time in 10 games.

Stand-in captain

Afridi had Quetta stand-in captain Mohammad Nawaz (16) and Umaid Aif (0) caught in the deep by Kieron Pollard off his last two balls of his third over and got Umar Akmal (28) to hole out to mid-off with his first ball of the last over. Afridi finished with 5-47 and the fifth hat trick in PSL history.

The run-fest in the Rawalpindi leg of the PSL saw Peshawar Zalmi twice unable to defend totals of 240-plus over the last four days. The highest ever aggregate of 515 runs was notched in the Twenty20 game on Saturday.

Multan sealed a place in the playoffs after league-leading Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi.

Ruled out

Usman punished a depleted Quetta bowling attack after frontline fast bowlers Nasim Shah and Mohammad Hasnain were ruled out by injuries.

Usman, who was out without scoring in his only previous game against Lahore this season, hit Afghanistan legspinner Qais Ahmed for six sixes and four boundaries off his first two overs as he raised his hundred with a slap shot over the third-man fielder in the ninth over.

Quetta challenged the tall target despite losing Jason Roy, Martin Guptill and Mohammad Hafeez within the powerplay. The brisk fourth-wicket stand between Omair Yousuf (67) and Iftikhar Ahmed (53) gave them hope until Afridi started claiming wickets.