Shane Watson’s sparkling run of form continued as Quetta Gladiators extended their winning streak at the top of the HBL Pakistan Super League.
The Australian opener hit 61 to set Quetta on their way to beating Multan Sultans by eight wickets at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was his second successive half-century in the competition, while the team have won all three of their matches so far in PSL Season 4.
Despite the fact he will be 38 on his next birthday, Watson’s Twenty20 batting talents show little sign of diminishing.
He was man of the match in the final of last year’s Indian Premier League, hit a century in the Big Bash League in Australia last month, and his been rarely troubled since arriving in the UAE.
He was ably assisted in Quetta’s chase of 161 by Rilee Rossouw. The South African left-hander top-scored, making 67 not out as he guided his side to victory with nine balls to spare.
Earlier, Shoaib Malik had again led from the front for Multan, who posted what appeared to be a challenging target on a typically slow Sharjah wicket.
The captain struck his second half-century in the space of three matches as he top-scored with 53 from 37 balls.
James Vince, playing his first match after arriving from the BBL in Australia, had looked in fine touch at the top of the order, setting Multan’s innings off to a pacey start.
The Englishman hit six crisp fours in his 17-ball stay, worth 28, before he fell to the left-arm spin of Mohammed Nawaz.
Coincidentially, while on the other side of the world Chris Gayle was in the middle of over-taking his record for career sixes in international cricket, Shahid Afridi was in action in Sharjah.
It felt glumly appropriate that Afridi, after seeing a that record go, should notch a first-ball duck for Multan, as the Sultans faltered while they chased late-over runs.