After some rough weather games last week, Lahore & Damascus were blessed with a beautiful day for softball on Wednesday. Both teams took their talents to Birchwood for a double header matchup.
The 1st game, unlike the weather, wasn’t beautiful at all especially for Damascus who would once again be without their star Omer ‘The Shuffle’ Chaudhry due to an undisclosed injury. Damascus has been using their collective prayers in hoping he will re-join the squad soon as he has been sorely missed both at the plate and in the field.
The game started off as a dud with no score in the 1st inning. After that the wheels fell off for Damascus (not sure if they were even on to begin with) as Lahore would score the next 12 runs, virtually putting the game away. With some good hitting from Lahore, each player having a hit in this game, and no response from Damascus, Lahore cruised to a 12-3 victory and were feeling good about the 2nd game. Ali Chaudhry, who was back in action for Lahore, almost matched Damascus in hits as he had 3 on the night while the boys in blue only managed 5 total as a team.
GM Safwan Khan has been looking for answers and rumor has it he has begun to schedule practices at the crack of dawn to get his guys going. He might need to do more though as the team is trending in the wrong direction but there’s so much ball to play it’s a ‘never give up’ mentality….for now.
Final Score: Lahore 12 vs Damascus 3
The second game of the back to back was more competitive than the first. However, the outcome was the same with a Lahore victory. In this close, low scoring game, the teams duked it out defensively, albeit the teams combined for 12 errors in the game.
Fuzzy Clemons of Lahore commanded the mound very well, giving up only 4 earned runs, and Lahore played great defensive all around, shout out to Shane, Waseem, and Ali. Zahid P pitched a great game and is still in search of that first Win. The DMC team needs to get more on-base in order to produce runs. Zaqi, Adnan, Ali Nazir, AK & Safwan all had multi hit games, congrats to them and we look forward to seeing that momentum. The play of the game was Lahore's Ali Chaudhry blasting a 3 run home run to centre field - let us tell you that this was a monster shot that sent a dagger through the hearts of DMC. The player of the day has to go to Fuzzy Clemons of Lahore - rumour has it that while not on the mound, he was closing hot property deals from the dugout.
Sweeping the series, Lahore looks to continue its win streak against Medina and Baghdad. Meanwhile, Damascus drops to last in the standings...former MVP Safwan Khan looks like a shell of himself - this guy needs to get it going and the rest of the team will then follow. Damascus takes its losing streak into a desperate win situation against Jerusalem and Cordoba.
Final Score: Damascus 6 vs Lahore 9
The Cobras and the Cairo Camels were finally face to face this week. There were very high expectations from Cairo as they have been going strong throughout the season, even though it's still early in the season. The cobras came prepared to meet the Cario Camels as they knew that it was not going to be an easy match against this team.
They started the match with batting first. Usama Mahmood started the match with batting first and getting the team on the board with the first run. Cario was testing the waters with Cordoba to see how good the team's bats are. The Camels retaliated as well in the next inning by putting up some more runs of their own, thanks to Shamil Khadaroo and Hassan Afzal. Those were the Only RUNs that the Camels got in as they couldn’t find any breaks in the Cobras Defense system. There were good plays put up by the Yousuf Chaudry (spare Parts Chaudry) to get some more runs but it didn’t work out that well against the Cobras Ace Pitcher Abbas Allidina, who had the Camels backed up in a tight spot the whole game. There were some good plays by the Channa Brothers ( Khizer and Khurrum), Yusuf Inger, Faisal Shamshad and Hassan Afzal but that wasn’t enough to get them a win.
The Cobras capitalized on the pressure that the Camels were in and tried putting up runs in every inning. They found some weak spots in Cairo’s defense on the third base and outer field and managed to squeeze in runs in the 3rd and 6th innings. The seniors on the team like Hassan Chaudry and Saad Husnain both managed to get in 2 RBIs each for the cobras putting them ahead of the camels in the 3rd innings, Followed by the BUTT Brothers (Ahmed and Abdul) trailing behind with another two RBIs, winning them the game with 6 runs to 2 for the Camels. This goes to show the Cobras still have some sting in them and they work well under pressure. Hopefully they can carry this momentum forward again in the other games moving forward.
Final Score: Cordoba 6 Cairo 2
Cordoba Cobras were pretty pumped up to head into the next match with the Medina Badgers. Medina started the match off with putting up 4 runs in the first innings thanks to veterans Zahid Merchant and Mo Kala. The whole team had hits landing them a total of 13 runs in the game. The home runs put in by Ahmad Ammad and Suleman Mann were just the cherry on top of their victory. The Medina Badgers keep showing us that they are still the one of the best teams on paper and the field and are a tough force to reckon with.
The Cobras tried to retaliate as much as possible with the whole team putting up a lot of runs by everyone on the team scoring at least one run, but weren’t enough to catch up with the badgers. They did come close in the 6th inning where they had put up 5 runs and it seemed that the winds were shifting in their favor. Salim Jaichi went all Arabi Style on the badgers and hit a home run to get the team pumped up which helped them to put up so many runs. Amazing defense by the All star SS Usama Mahmood who almost lost his voice screaming out defense settings and catches in the infield. Credit also goes to the pitcher Abbas Allidina who kept the Badgers down as much as possible by pitching amazing balls and avoiding homeruns as much as possible. Captain Bilal Javaid also tried his best to get the bats going by motivating his team and trying to get the Hulk out in Mr. Butt, which we didn’t get to see anything special from so far. He might be saving it for the playoffs or just isn’t getting angry enough to get a HR yet. We will have to wait and see what gets him going in the coming games. The Cobras maxed out at 7 runs in the whole game and put up a good defense against one of the tough teams in the league.
Final Score: Medina 13 Cordoba 7
The twilight game at Birchwood pitted the early heavyweights of the season against each other. The top 2 teams entering the week, Medina came in undefeated after beating Cordoba in the previous game, while Cairo took their first L and were looking to right the ship.
The game started out as advertised with both teams getting on base & getting their big bats to drive in the runs. Cairo’s leadoff Amir Khalil, who was thought to be banged up, went a perfect 4-4 in the game. While Cairo’s star Chu would blast 2 homeruns on his way to 5 RBI’s. Although the score after 2 innings was 7-5, Cairo seemed like they were going to run away with this one. That’s when the legend that is Mo Kala decided it was time for his team to get turnt up and stop playing games while playing the game. This resulted in Medina shutting down Cairo for the rest of the game. That’s right. Cairo would not score another run in the next 4 innings, while Medina would go on to put up 11 in the next 3 innings.
Medina is looking like the real deal as they stay undefeated. Getting production out of all their guys top to bottom while their big bats are delivering. Suleman ‘the man’ Mann would go 4-4 while the one known to the team as Rangers, Shoaib Rangrez continued his steller rookie season, going for 2 doubles and driving in 5 runs in the game. Someone may have shot the sheriff, maybe even the deputy. But The Ranger…the Ranger is alive and well and looking to be the steal of the draft. Another fine scouting job by the Kala Mamba.
Final Score: Cairo 7 vs Medina 16
Game 1 at Mississauga Valley pitted Istanbul vs. Baghdad. Baghdad looked to be the underdog in this one and were fielding only 3 outfielders, while Istanbul GM Taqi Ahmed decided to give his hand at pitching to ensure the team has a reliable backup. In the first 2 innings, Istanbul put up 6 runs off of homeruns from their GM & AGM combo Taqi & Ismail Kara. Not to be outdone, Baghdad stayed within striking distance to keep the game manageable. Unfortunately, the boys in red completely forgot how to hit (especially given Baghdad only had 3 OF’s and there was so much green out there). For the next 3 innings, Istanbul put up a whopping 0 runs. Meanwhile, Baghdad got some timely hitting from Abdo Menla and Fahad Panchbaya, as they both combined to go 6-7 and driving in 6 runs combined. By the end of the 5th inning, Baghdad was up 9-6 and looked to shut down Istanbul for a few more innings.
Unfortunately, the game had some missed calls (on both sides) and the final inning saw Istanbul put up 2 more runs to bring the deficit to 1. With 2 on and 2 out, in the top of the 6th, Istanbul flied out. Looking to redeem themselves with 1 additional inning, the umpire called the game and Baghdad took the win 9-8. Both teams were not informed about the 6th being the last inning and Istanbul were not too happy, however they only have themselves to blame. With a rookie pitcher Taqi proving himself in his first pitching appearance and allowing only 9 runs, the boys in red were outscored and out hit (only managed 12 hits) against a depleted 3 man outfield and should only look into a mirror to see what the issue is. Timely hitting has to be at the forefront of their practices going forward. On a positive note, Taqi looked like a reliable backup pitcher. On the flip side, Baghdad finally gets their first win of the season, and will look to build on that momentum heading into game 2.
Final Score: Istanbul 8 Baghdad 9
Beautiful night at Valley’s Mississauga on Thursday. The 8pm game schedule was Baghdad vs. Jerusalem.
Both teams desperate for a win to get their season started. Baghdad starts the season at 0-4 and Jerusalem was 1-2-1. Baghdad got off to a hot start scoring 7 runs in the first inning, courtesy of a few home runs from Noor Zia. Jerusalem held their own in the first 2 innings and the score was 7-4. The 3rd inning is wwhen things started slipping away from Jerusalem. Baghdad popped in 5 runs in the top of 3rd inning and didn’t let Jerusalem back in the game the rest of the way. Jerusalem had bases loaded after Imran Merchant and Paygham Whahedi (PG) both got walked on 8 straight balls. Salman Ahmad had the chance to clear the bases but grounded out. Jerusalem continues to struggle defensively but came out alive in their 2nd game against Istanbul.
Baghdad ends the night with 2 wins and jumps in the standings. Noor Zia had a legendary game hitting 5 home runs, with only 3 that counted. Noor Zia still ended the night 3-5, 3HR and 10 RBI. Baghdad hopes to continue the winning streak in Week 4 and Jerusalem goes home slightly disappointed with lots to prove in Week 4.
Final Score: Baghdad 21 Jerusalem 8
Coming off a tough loss, the Jerusalem braintrust pumped up the team to lift their spirits up. And boy did it work, Jerusalem opened up with 4 runs with timely hitting through the top. Istanbul responded, cutting into the lead by putting up 2 runs in the bottom of the first. But the second and third is when Jerusalem opened it up with 9 runs including multiple HRs from MVP candidate Paygham Whahedi, including a grand slam. The man is automatic at the plate, pitchers are worried to pitch to him!
Istanbul cut into the lead with 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th. Ismail Kara continued to punish pitchers with a massive home run.
Unfortunately, both teams were relatively quiet after that. Istanbul got solid performances from rookie sensation Emad Ahmed, and Umair Ali, whereas Jerusalems leader Imran Merchant finally got going, along with the fastest man in the league Umair Sheikh.
Final Score: Jerusalem 17 Istanbul 10