Lahore Vs Cairo:
This was final match-up between Cairo and Lahore before the post-season, and Lahore was definitely looking for revenge as they’ve been winless against the Orangemen. GM Aftab Sheikh made it clear he was looking for a better performance from the team than in previous weeks’ to ensure momentum going into the playoffs. The game didn’t start off well for Lahore with Cairo in the first inning getting timely hits from Saad Husnain and Abdullah Akhtar – however – this was the only runs Cairo ended up scoring the whole game due to Lahore’s league best defensive, pitching along with clutch hitting. Lahore got timely batting from Amir Khalil going 4 for 4 with 3 RBI, Bilal Khan going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, Salman Hoda going 3 for 3. We also can’t forgot Fuzail “Fuzman” Thakur who hit a 2 run blast into the sunset, and pitched magnificently throwing 13 balls all game, walking just 1 batter. So, folks might be wondering “who won the Akhtar v. Khadaroo trade”, based on regular season it looks slanted to Abdullah, but we knew Shamil was going to be missing some games – the final verdict will come playoff time.
Medina Vs Cairo:
Coming into the season Medina and Cairo were touted as two of the potentially best teams following the spring draft. Going into this game however, they found themselves on opposite sides of the spectrum. Cairo, having already locked up first place, had just lost a sloppy affair to Lahore in the first game of their double header, but felt confident against a Medina squad who was fighting to go into the playoffs on a high note. Although it wouldn't come easy, Medina could hang their hat on the fact that one of Cairo's two losses were against them earlier this summer.
In this low scoring affair, the usual suspects showed up for Medina in Hassan Chaudhry and Mohamed Kala, who had to step up in the absence of slugger Ismail Akhter. Hassan spread his hits throughout the game making the defense move on the fly. Meanwhile, leadoff man Yasser Malik went 3/3 alongside impressive performances from Miqdad Jaffer and Tamour Sheikh, who is atop the league in hits with players in scoring position. Meanwhile, Ali Chaudhry ended the home run race with a deep shot to left center field for his league leading 10th home run of the season.
This game was full of highlight reel catches, hits and controversial calls (the game is posted on YouTube for your entertainment needs). In the end, Cairo was able to hold Medina to just three runs to win a defensive affair 7-3. More Importantly, Medina loses to Cairo twice in as many weeks and head into the playoffs on a two game slide. Furthermore, Medina will face off against Istanbul in a winner take all wild card game. Interestingly, Istanbul's only two wins going into week 10 were against Medina, so that match up will be a must watch.