Medina vs Damascus
Medina was well rested coming off a bye as they visited the high flying Damascus squad. Medina had as close to a full team as they could get (Minus 1 no show and 1 newly married Zane Sheikh which is like half a person) and were looking to start a run. It was almost impossible to recognize Zane Sheikh as he packed on some healthy pounds (Mashallah, sign of a happy marriage) but don’t worry, he shaved off his facial hair to balance it out so all is good… Especially after that first strike out where he tweaked his back by just picking up the bat. Where is the week 1 Zane Sheikh that put the league on notice??
As the home team, Damascus took the field while Medina got set to put up some runs. Unfortunately their bats started off kind of flat as the top of the order didn’t bat well enough to start the game as they only scored 1 run and left 2 players on the bags. No worries as Medina shut Damascus down in the very next inning highlighted by newly acquired Zia “Doc” Beg striking out a frustrated Ahmed Ammad (sorry guy, had to mention it). Medina went back on the attack and put up a massive 1 run which obviously didn’t hold up against a team like Damascus. They simply came out and fired on all cylinders, placing the ball over the outfielders heads more times then we can count, ending that inning in a 7 run beat down. The outfield was extremely tough to handle as the winds were constantly changing the direction of the ball. Many outfielders had to dive to make simple catches as the ball would drop well before its original projection. Ahmed Ammad and Safwan Khan had a couple of nice grabs as Safwan dove ahead and caught a line drive from Hamid Malik which really had no business being caught. Crazy fumbled a very routine catch as it popped out of his glove but with his cat like reflexes he quickly snatched it in the air preventing the ball from touching the ground, ending the inning in disappointment for Medina. The rest of the game was quiet for Medina as they only managed to muster up another 5 runs. The bottom of the lineup played well for Medina as Atif Parvaiz had 2 massive doubles bringing in an RBI and Abdul “Big” Butt went 3 for 3 smoking one over Crazy’s head for a deep shot in CF. If the Butt man was quicker, he would’ve bolted to 3rd but he was more than happy to just get on base as the top of the lineup came up. Atif and Butt went 5 for 5 in this game. Excellent work boys! Mazamil Mohammad batted well as he put one over everyone’s head for a double and 3 RBI’s. Captain Safwan Khan has done a great job throughout the year as a first time GM, keeping his team spiritis high and finding ways to win games. Great work by everyone on Damascus for stepping up when it mattered most.
As for Medina, they keeps dropping games and have yet to figure out their identity. With 4 games remaining, they’re starting to feel the pressure as there are 4 other teams desperately trying to make the playoffs. Any team can be left out of the playoffs and if Medina keeps up their sloppy play, it could be them. Time to light a fire under team Medina’s you know what’s because if they don’t wake up soon, this could be the beginning of the end. Damascus 13 - Medina 7
Summary of main stats:
Abdul Butt – 3 / 3, 2 Runs
Atif Parvaiz – 2 / 2, BB, 2 2B, RBI
Ismail Akhter – 2 / 4, 2 RBI’s
Ahmed Ammad – 3 / 4, 3 RBI’s
Tanseer Khawaja – 2 / 2, 1 run, 1 RBI
Muzamil Mohammed – 1 / 3, 3 RBI’s
Damascas vs. Cordoba
In what can be perceived as a potential play-off matchup, the Syrians of Damascus visited the Spaniards (before inquisition) of Cordoba. After 9 weeks into the season, undoubtedbly, Cordoba has looked like the elite team of BSL meanwhile Damascus, has surprised turned a few heads with their play, albeit they've had the easiest schedule according to some critics. The first matchup between these two teams was a tested battle, head over to our youtube page to check out the film.
In a surprising outcome, the underdog Damascus came out ahead in this tightly contested battle. Cordoba took its first defeat of the season, but still maintain their top spot in the standing, with Damascus now trailing them by only two points. Notable missing players from Cordoba was Khawar "Jun" Anwar and Kamil Siddiqui, and Zaki Bhatti from Damascus.
Great fielding and hitting were observed throughout the game, by both teams. First, Damascus jumped out to a 9-3 lead, after three innings. Getting out to a fast start was key, according to GM of Damascus. As the game wore on, and Damascus clearly looking fatigued from its back2back, Cordoba began to cut into the deficit. In the last three innings, Cordoba outscored Damascus by a score of 8 to 3, but that was not enough as Damascus went on to win by a score of 14-11.
Offensively, Ahmad Ammad continued his MVP campaign by slugging two homers against his former team. His teammates supported him well, kudos goes to Akif Waheed and Shane Worthington for their two way play. Abdul 'Sunny' Murad's excellent play at SS certainly contributed to this positive outcome, and if he can continue this play, then that allows Safwan Khan to go in the outfield, boosting the defensive legitimacy of arguably one of the best defensive teams so far.
Cordoba will be kicking themselves for getting off to such a sluggish start. If the game went on a little longer, they should feel as though they had the momentum to win the game. Bilal Javed did all that he could do by going four for four and that's why he leads the league in hitting. GM Yousaf Chu will look to improve upon his offensive performance the next time these two teams meet.
Not to be outdone, this matchup featured the number 1 and 2 pitching matchup. According to his social media followers, who easily dubbed him the best pitcher in Nights, Hamza Waheed had a semi-off day, but still had the secret sauce to keep his team in it. Had it been anyone other than Tans "Robocop" Bhai at the mound for the opposing team, Waheed may have had a chance to get that 'W'. But Robocop, at least on this occasion, made a case as to why the debate should carry on. It's anyone's guess who will be the BSL Nights Pitcher of the Year, but at this point, based on records and ERA, these two could go neck and neck for the remainder of the year.
- Outfield got better, but still some routine catches are being dropped. Boys got to clean up not missing the easy catches. This team makes impressive defensive plays (catches, ground balls)
- All around hitting, 8 RBIs from Shane and Ahmad. Akif continues to have great OBP. Hatf Sohail been balling after the trade. Muzamil with his first career multiple hit game
- Prior to this game, Cordoba was averaging 20/21 runs per game, but Tans Bhai, backed by his defense, held Cordoba to its lowest runs produced all year
- This writer is redacting Cordoba opportunities for competitive reasons
- Great all around hitting, 7 players with multiple hits. Suleman Mann had a monster Opposite field HR that made it to the other side of Bloor St.
- Defensive was above average. If some of the plays in the infield right side can get cleaned up, then Cordoba would hav easily won. Khuram Channa is making a case for Gold Glove in the OF.
- Despite the loss, the boys should remain positive, and still believe that the championship is theirs to lose
- This writer is redacting Cordoba opportunities for competitive reasons
Cairo vs Cordoba
Coming off their first loss, the guys were feeling a bit upset as they almost closed the gap against Damascus but ran out of time. They decided to take that momentum they gained in the last 3 innings against Damascus and carried it forward against a last place Cairo Squad. Cordoba started this game off by mercying Cairo and kept their foot on the gas the entire way ending this game early due to the 15 run mercy rule. Cairo showed some signs of life… after the game when they were seen walking back to their cars. This was probably Cairo’s worse game as they only strung together 9 hits and barely managed 2 runs on a Nirvaan Latif (Sub) Homerun. He would have the solo highlight on Cairo’s side. Cordoba however was full or fun highlights. Bilal Javed had 2 Homers with Yusauf Chaudhry and Faisal Shamshad bringing home 1 dinger each combining for a total of 10 RBI’s. Faisal ended the game with a 3 run Homer as his smash put Cordoba up by 16, ending Cairo’s night early.
On the defensive end, Saad Husnain displayed some great reflexes as he made an incredible diving catch while Captain Chu locked it down at SS in 2 consecutive games. Seems like Cordoba is cruising to the finish line while 4 teams continue to battle it out hoping to make the playoffs, Cairo being one of them. Cairo seems to be hanging in there but with the recent emergence of Lahore, Istanbul’s big bats and Medina finally at full strength, the race wont get any easier. Most of the season is behind us and a lot of teams are starting to figure out what their teams are made of. The time to make the final push is now. Will Cairo be able to string together a few wins while staving off other playoff hungry teams or is this the beginning to their demise? Things don’t get much easier for them as they have a date with the red hot Damascus.
Summary of main stats:
Bilal Javed – 2 / 3, 2 HR, 4 RBI’s
Yusauf Chaudhry – 4 / 3, HR, 1 RBI
Faisal Shamshad – 2 / 4, HR 4 RBI’s,
Nirvaan Latif – 2 / 2, HR, 2 RBI’s
Jav Ahmed – 1 / 2, 1 run
Miqdad Jaffer - 2 / 3,