Welcome back to our final writeup of the memorable 2020 season. In todays games we have Medina hosting Cordoba in a do or die situation where the victor moves on to face Damascus. It was a chilly night but all teams were itching to get out there and were ready to put everything on the line. With the final week of Softball before the long offseason, this would be one heck of a closing night. Let's jump into the action!
Cordoba @ Medina
Cordoba was feeling confident coming off an OT victory vs Lahore as they took to bat first. Medina however, was feeling confident as they came into this game with some major changes moving Sul Mann to SS and Aslam Abdullah to 2B. That seemed to bode well for the team as Mann seemed like a natural at the position charging at everything and making the strong throw to 1B. The game was back and fourth all night long as Medina started the scoring off with 3 runs in the first inning and consistently put up runs every inning. Cordoba put up a goose egg in the first inning but their bats just needed a second to get fired up as they had some impressive hits on the night.
The Butt brothers both registered a dinger each which I think is the first time that has ever happened. Little Butt had a solo homer but Big Butt had a grand slam! Perhaps the biggest homerun on the night was by Akif “Commiss” Waheed who smashed a deep ball bringing in 4 runs and taking the lead. That hit took momentum away from Medina and put Cordoba in control. Akif would finish with 7 RBI’s on the night. On Medina’s side, the ball was flying as Aslam Abdullah and Imran Qureshi registered 2 big homeruns each while Fawad Sheikh and Sul Mann had 1 each combining for 15 RBI’s. Fast forward to the bottom of the 6th, final inning. With Medina down 7 going into their final inning, their top was coming up. if there was ever a time for Medina to come together, this was it. with 1 out Aslam Abdullah stepped up to the plate and blasted a 2 run shot to cut the deficit by 5. 2 bats later Sul Mann stepped into another 2 run shot bringing the lead down to 3. With the HR limit being reached, that posed a problem for Medina as they had 2 big bats coming up in Imran Qureshi and Hamid Malik. IQ tried to keep in the park but ended up popping up leaving 2 men on base. With 1 out remaining, Hamid Malik came up to bat and launched it deep into RF where Ahmed Ammad bolted over and made a difficult grab to end Medina’s season. Hats off to Cordoba for playing an incredible game where their bottom of the lineup blossomed and was the difference in this close matchup. The bottom half of their lineup combined for 13 RBI’s while the top half combined for 8 while 7 of those came from Akif Waheed.
Both teams played a fantastic game which came down to the wire. Although Medina isn’t happy about the loss, they hold their heads up high for engaging in a neck in neck battle with a formidable opponent. Congratulations to Cordoba who will move on to face Damascus in the finals. The way both teams have played this year, this finals is going to be a shootout! Don’t forget to visit our you tube channel for a video of the semi finals.
- Akif Waheed – 3 / 4, Clutch Grand Slam, 7 RBI’s
- Abdul Butt – 3 / 4, Grand Slam, 4 RBI’s
- Khawar Anwar – 3 RBI’s
- Bilal Malik – 3 /3, 3 RBI’s
- Pasha/Furwan – combined for 2 RBI’s
- Bilal Javed – RBI
- Sulemann Mann – 4 /4, Clutch HR in final inning, 4 RBI’s
- Aslam Abdullah – 3 / 4, 2 HR, 3 RBI’s (including a big homer in the last inning)
- Imran Qureshi – 3 / 4, 2 HR, 5 RBI’s
- Fawad Sheikh – 2 / 3, 3 RBI’s
- Tanseer/Jay/Omer C – combined for 3 RBI’s
Cordoba @ Damascus
And then there were 2 left. Cordoba came into the finals riding their big win against Medina while Damascus was waiting in the wings after their own big win against Medina the week prior. The 2 teams came into the finals with Damascus winning 3 of the 4 meetings this year, but Cordoba would finally be fielding their entire team with all bats on hand. On the flip side, Damascus was missing one of their big-time players with Farooq Sani having to travel back home for a family emergency (the league sends their duahs to the Sani family). With so much on the line, the game started, and no one could have foreseen this start. Cordoba came out flying, with top batters Ahmad Ammad and Bilal Javed leading the way; the “Bash Brothers” went a combined 7/10 and hit 4 HR’s and driving in 8 on the night. Cordoba was quickly up by 3 after 1, but the onslaught was just starting. Cordoba got hitting from everyone while Hamza Waheed was pitching a gem in front of stellar defense by the boys in yellow. By the halfway point of the 4th inning, Cordoba was up 22-7 and pretty much all but locked up the championship. On the other side, Damascus could be seen hanging their heads and essentially giving up as no team had ever come back from a 15-run deficit and felt their strong season was going to waste. With hardly anything left to play with, leaders Imran Merchant and Hassan Chaudhry rallied the troops reminding them the finals was a 9 inning affair and if they were down 15 at half, there was no reason they could not put up the same amount in the 2nd half. Additionally, GM Safwan Khan made some defensive changes, sending Abbas Allidina to the mound and Hatf Sohail to 3rd base. Damascus put up a small 3 runs in the 4th courtesy of a monster HR by Shane Worthington. The defense stepped up for the boys in blue, shutting Cordoba out the following inning, while getting a big boost from the top of their lineup. Hatf Sohail (already hit a solo HR to start the game) stepped up to the plate with the bases juiced and launched a grand slam to straightaway center, and Damascus put up a mercy inning. Abdul Butt did his best while hitting a solo HR in the 6th to set the score to 23-17 and Cordoba were 2 innings away from claiming their 2nd straight championship. Unfortunately for them, commissioner Akif Waheed (who had been having a fantastic playoffs), was forced to the sidelines with an injury and missing his bat would prove detrimental. Additionally, Damascus’ never say die attitude continued, and with the bases loaded again, GM and MVP candidate Safwan Khan stepped up to the plate and hit DMC’s 2nd grand slam of the night. As he’s done all year, Safwan put his team on his shoulders and carried the load, proving how great a leader he has been all year. Damascus put up a 2nd straight mercy inning and miraculously were up by 1 (24-23) heading to the 7th. Spectators who stuck around were treated to fireworks in this game and regardless of who you were rooting for, you were entertained. Down 1, Cordoba now wondering how they blew a 15-run lead, were still within reach of the championship, and Zain Malik stepped up and hit another solo tying the game at 24 apiece. Heading to the bottom of the 8th, Awais Malik hit a ball that was unfortunately misplayed by Cordoba OF’s, and knowing this, Awais quickly made his way to 2nd. With Hatf Sohail up next, Cordoba made the decision to intentionally walk him to set up the force play and hopefully get out the inning and go to extra’s. With 2 on and 1 out, Riyad Ramjaun stepped up and all that was required was to either get on base or not hit into a double play, as Safwan and Imran were on deck. With a 2-1 count, Riyad hit a liner into CF which was again misplayed and instead of staying in front, rolled past the CF which gave the boys in blue a chance. Damascus, known for their aggressive style of play, sent Awais home to end the game then and there. With the speedster running at full strength, Awais came home before the throw, and Damascus completed the improbable and won the game 25-24 in thrilling manner to claim the franchises 1st championship. The biggest comeback in BSLN history, Damascus showed why you play until the game is done, coming back from a 22-7 deficit. All hands were on deck for Damascus as 10 of the 11 batters each had at least 1 hit and 1 RBI, while they also showed a lot of patience, drawing 8 walks. Cordoba on the other hand have no reason to hang their heads. They hung with the best team in the league and lost the championship by only 1 run. Unfortunately for them, they hit 7 HR’s but half of them were solo shots which did not help them in the end, and management will spend the off season thinking what went wrong. Cordoba had a great season as they would have been the only team that would have to have beaten all 3 teams to win the championship and came within 1 run. With so many quality guys on the team, Cordoba will come back stronger next year. Congratulations to the 2020 BSLN Champions Damascus on a great season, filled with a lot of excitement. GM Safwan Khan and AGM Salman Ahmad put a solid team together and believed in their guys from the get-go, never once adjusting the lineups throughout the year and allowing guys to get comfortable at their respective positions. The results speak for themselves, as the boys in blue lifted their first championship.
On a side note, we would like to congratulate Lahore and Medina on a fantastic season by both teams, and thank Commissioner Akif Waheed and all the GM’s, AGM’s and volunteers that made this season possible. With so much uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, these guys figured out a way for us all to play, stay safe and remain competitive, and provided a weekly outlet for guys to come out and forget what was going on in the world for a few hours. IA we will come back stronger and better for the 2021 season, but until then, the league hopes everyone, and their loved ones stays safe during the offseason.
- Zain Malik hitting a perfect 4-4, with a game tying HR
- Ahmad Ammad with a HR and driving in 4
- Bilal Javed hitting 3 HR’s, and driving in 4
- Yousaf Chaudhry hitting 4-5
- Abdul Butt with yet another HR and driving in 2
- Furqan Usman hitting 2-3 and driving in 3
- Safwan Khan with a grand slam and driving in 4
- Imran Merchant hitting a perfect 3-3 (all 3 hits were doubles) and driving in 3
- Abbas Allidina driving in 3, while locking things down on the mound, allowing only 6 ER in 6
- Hassan Chaudhry a perfect 5-5
- Shane Worthington with a timely HR and driving in 2
- Riyad Ramjaun driving in 2, including the winning RBI
- Hatf Sohail hitting 2 HR’s including the biggest Grand Slam, while driving in 5 and claiming finals MVP
As the season comes to an end, we want to thank everyone for being a big part of the league. We almost didnt have a season this year but thanks to the hard work of Akif Waheed and the management team or BSLN, we were able to pull off a succesful season. Big shoutout to all the volunteers and writers. Without you guys, we wouldnt have a season. Excellent work and thank you so much for contibuting as much as you guys have. Speical Thank you to everyone for abdiing by the rules and doing their best to exercise social distancing. We couldnt have done it without everyone buying into the new system and abiding by the rules. With another succesful year in the books, we bid farewell to everyone and we wish you and your families a safe offseason.
until next year... Peace out my brothers and Asalam-O-Alaikom