Shane Watson and Rilee Rossouw hammered half centuries as Quetta Gladiators defeated Multan Sultans in clinical fashion by eight wickets in their Pakistan Super League match at Sharjah Stadium here Wednesday night. The win — achieved in the 18.3 overs after they overhauled a target of 161 – gives twice runners-up six points as they continued to top the six-team table. Quetta, who won their first two matches in the first leg of the event held in Dubai — rode on a brilliant 40-ball 61 laced with 11 hits to the fence while Rossouw notched a 45-ball 67 with a six and ten boundaries as Quetta made the chase a mere cake-walk. The chase masters Quetta, who won all their matches chasing, were off to another solid start of 39 before Watson found an able ally in Rossouw as they punished Multan bowlers with authority, adding 56 for the second wicket. Watson, who scored 81 not out in his team’s win over Islamabad United, reached his fifth fifty in all PSL, with a straight boundary off Shahid Afridi as Quetta reached 89-1 after ten overs. Watson, who now has 845 runs in 28 PSL matches, second to Peshawar opener Kamran Akmal who has 978 in 36 matches, finally fell to Afridi, with 76 needed for victory. Rossouw also reached his half century off 35 balls with a boundary and single off Andre Russell. He and Umar Akmal (18-ball 17) crossed the finish line during their unbroken 66-run stand for the third wicket as Multan bowlers looked helpless and bite-less. Multan welcomed the arrival of Dan Christian and Vince while Quetta left out misfiring Ahmed Shehzad to include Ahsan Ali in their eleven. Shoaib Malik hit his second fifty in this PSL edition — sixth in all PSL — with a 37-ball 53 with two sixes and four boundaries while England’s batsman James Vince struck six boundaries in his 17-ball 28 to lift Multan Sultans to 160-8 after they were put into bat on a shiny Sharjah Stadium pitch. The defeat — Multan’s second in three games — put them on third behind Peshawar Zalmi (one win in two games) in the table with just one win. Title holders Islamabad United are fourth while Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars are fifth and sixth respectively. Scores in brief: Quetta Gladiators beat Multan Sultans by eight wickets Multan Sultans 160-8 in 20 overs: (Shoaib Malik 53, J Vince 28; Mohammad Irfan Junior 2-32, Ghulam Mudassar 2-44) VS Quetta Gladiators 161-2 in 18.3 overs (Rilee Rossouw 67, Shane Watson 61) Published in Daily Times, February 22nd 2019.