Lahore vs. Cordoba
Lahore started this game off right by smashing a 3 run homer (Courtesy of Shamil Khadaroo), thanks to Bilal Javed’s rookie pitching ways. Cordoba can thank Hamza Waheed for those 3 runs as he strolled in late with samosa in hand. Turns out he had to stop for fresh Samosa’s which delayed his arrival. Lahore using this momentum came out and shut Cordoba down in their first at bat. The very next inning Cordoba turned around and shut Lahore down and double wammied them with a mercy inning. Cordoba did most of its damage in the 2nd and 3rd inning combining for a 11 points which was already out of reach for Lahore. Still, they continued to scratch and claw while trying to keep their composure on defense. Lahore did have a chance at winning this game but their shaky defense lead to their demise as Lahore goes back to their losing ways. Lahore was excited to have Shahid Saya back as he contributed with 2 RBI’s. Salman Ahmad was fantastic on the mound as he struck out 3 players tonight and tried to keep the pressure on Cordoba. We caught up with Captain Lahore after the game who despite the loss was very proud of his teams performance. He thought they played hard and stayed in the game with the top team. Cordoba did their damage without clearing the fence but their team had 7 doubles which definitely helped bring in some runs! Their game was overall solid with Chu continuing to make double plays at Short Stop. Cordoba’s defense has consistently improved every game which leads captain Yusauf Chaudhry to think they can start to take it easy in preparation for the playoffs. Codroba has been known to dominate the weaker teams but has had to go toe to toe with some of the better teams in the league. although they’ve been quite successful, all it takes is one mistake in the playoffs. Will Cordoba be the Cairo of this year and make a brief appearance in the playoffs or will they go on to write their own history and prove that they are the best team in the league? we’ll find out soon enough…
Summary of Main Stats:
Aftab Sheikh – 3 / 4, 3R
Shamil Khadaroo – 1 / 2, HR, 3RBI’s
Shahid Saya – 1 / 3, 2 RBI’s
Saad Husnain – 2 / 3, HR, 3 RBI’s
Zaid Gansar – 3 / 3, RBI
Yusauf Chaudhry – 2 / 4, 2 RBI’s
Medina vs Istanbul
After a 2-week layoff, Istanbul entered this week looking to add to their point total and try to secure a playoff spot with the season coming to an end very shortly. Unfortunately, things started off rocky with as many as 5 Istanbul players calling in not being able to make the game, including GM Zain Malik. But with a bit of luck, the men in red got back one of their best players, as Rameez Siddiqi was able to make the game last minute. Meanwhile, on the flip side, Medina almost boasted an entire team if it weren’t for a last-minute issue at the airport causing Ismail Akhtar to be delayed on his flight. Rumor has it, his younger brother Abdullah, called in an extra security search on Ismail to ensure he missed the game.
As is the case in most of their games played, the game quickly got out of hand from Istanbul early on. Medina quickly scored 2 runs in the 1st inning and added another 5 spot in the 2nd to push their lead to 7, coming from a monster home run by WK. with their backs against the wall, Istanbul responded with their own big bats and put up 9 straight to go up by 2, courtesy of Istanbul’s week 11 hero, Saoud Ramjaun, who finally broke out of his slump, and went down the line for a 2 RBI double. The highlight of his hit though came shortly afterwards while standing on 2nd, when you could hear Istanbul’s dugout breaking out in one of the best team chants in BSLN history: “SOOD SOOD SOOD SOOD SOOD”, chants could be heard all the way to the parking lot, and it was this type of energy that Istanbul would rely on for the rest of the game. Saoud was also very instrumental in the field, making plays at 2nd including a key tag on a player stretching a single to a double.
With their lead evaporated, Medina’s bottom order decided it was their turn to step up, and with runners in scoring position, with 2 outs, Abdul Butt knocked a double right to the fence, bringing 2 runs in and closing the gap, while Hannan Uppal had himself a solid day at the plate going 2/3 and a key RBI. With Medina up 11-9, GM Mo Kala could be heard shouting to his team to preserve the lead, while Zahid Merchant was playing stellar defense all day at SS to ensure they were going home with a win. With Istanbul being all pumped, they slowly chipped away 2 more runs and with the game tied, found themselves in the envious position of having home field. In the bottom of the 7th, with 1 out and Fuzail Thakur sitting on 2nd base (winning run), Arif Iqbal came up to bat, and with 1 swing of the bat, he was able to find the gap between OF’s. The entire Istanbul team were jumping up and down, calling for Fuzzy to come home, but unfortunately, as he was rounding 3rd base, his foot got caught and stumbled ever so slightly. With that stumble, Medina’s SS Zahid, was able to gun him out at home by half a step. All was not lost, as Istanbul still had a shot with a man on 3rd and 2 outs, but a slow grounder ended the game at 11’s, giving both teams a much needed and much earned point on the night.
With no further bye weeks, and 3 games to go, both Medina and Istanbul are fighting to remain in a playoff spot with only 2 points separating these 2 and 2 more teams for the final 3 spots. Medina solved an issue by trading for a full-time pitcher in Zia “Doc” Beg, but did they give up too big a bat in the process? As for Istanbul, the main issue has been attendance. With GM Zain still missing a few weeks, can AGM Riyad Ramjaun rally the troupes that show up in time to secure that playoff spot? Only a few weeks left and still too many questions remain for both these teams but gaining that 1 important point was extremely valuable to both clubs. Final score: Istanbul 11 – 11 Medina.
Summary of Main Stats:
WK: 2/4 – 1 HR – 3 RBI’s
Abdul Butt: 2/3, 2B, 2 RBI’s
Hannan Uppal: 2/3, 1 RBI
Fuzail Thakur: 4/4, 1 RBI
Tamour Sheikh: 3/4, 1 HR, 3 RBI’s
Saoud Ramjaun: 2/4, 2B, 2 RBI’s