The night started like any softball night, where we all worried if the game would be rained out. Alhumdulillah, the weather turned out to be quite amazing and we were able to get the games going on time. Cordoba stepped up to bat first and wasn’t able to do much damage in the first couple of innings. Going into the 5th inning, Cordoba had their best inning of the game as they put up 6 runs taking a commanding 10 – 2 lead. Baghdad’s bats were flat all day and they couldn’t get anything going.
The lone bright spot on this night was new comer Thaya Yogachandran as he smashed his first dinger of his BSL career with a 3 run shot. Thaya also held it down in RCF and is looking like a steal as he was taken in the 6th round. Still, Baghdad wasn’t able to do much else as Corodoba easily took this one to a tune of 12 – 5. Abdul Butt played like a super star as he smashed a nice double down left center field while Saad Husnain went 4 for 4 bringing in 4 RBI’s and put on a show in the outfield. Look for those 2 to have an excellent season especially Abdul “Smash” Butt as he recently realized his super hulk strength and isn’t afraid to show it.
Final Score: Cordoba 12 Baghdad 5
The second game of this double header was more of less a repeat of the first game. Baghdad failed to get their bats going for most of the game as the team combined for a lousy 5 hits. Again, Thaya was the lone bright spot bringing in 2 RBI’s. On Cordoba’s side, Bilal Javed and Abbas combined for 2 dingers and 4 RBI’s which was pretty much all the offense they needed to put Baghdad away. Still, they put 13 runs to Baghdad’s 3 on the night. Only Abdo Menla had 2 hits in this game while everyone else combined for 3 hits. The heart of Baghdad’s line up combined for 1-10 at the plate in this game which in any game is unacceptable.
Although Baghdad’s defense was sound for the most part, their bats were offline. For a team that is a power house on paper, they sure haven’t showed much of it yet. Captain Hamid Malik had a very optimistic outlook when he drafted his team and still stands firmly behind his boys. It’s a long season and by no means does this mean that Baghdad will stay down. With super veteran Nirvaan Latif controlling the mound and firmly planted in this years HR race, he will look to be a bright light in Baghdad’s quest as they look to navigate through their first season. Baghdad may be down to start the season but by no means should they be counted out. Baghdad is coming and they will start to heat up. Question isn’t if but when…
Final Score: Baghdad 3 Cordoba 13
Not sure what’s more boring, watching paint dry for 90 minutes or the Jerusalem vs. Lahore game. It was an extremely windy day at Birchwood 1. Jerusalem showed to game 1 with one mindset, get the win and get the season rolling.
After splitting a double header in week 1, Lahore was looking to add to the win column. Unfortunately, once again team Lahore was shorthanded, with Fuzail Thakur not able to make it last minute to the 6:30pm game. Right from the start, Lahore was in shambles, already missing superstar Ali Chaudhry. With no backup pitcher on the team, Jerusalem drew 27 walks in 4 innings, which might be a new BSL Nights record, heck might be a record in any softball game ever played. The weather didn’t help, as Lahore tried 3 different pitchers to get something going. Imran Qureshi and Shane Worthington hit some homeruns to bring the game close. After that the walk marathon continued and Jerusalem took this game easily. Salman Ahmed showed up throwing consistent strikes, keeping his team ahead in the ball game. Paygham Whahedi (known as PG) couldn’t handle the walks and decided to hit 2 grand slams and ended the night 2-2, 2HR and 9 RBI’s.
Jerusalem gets a much-needed win to move up in the standings and team Lahore goes home needing to re-group and prepare to come back strong next week.
Final Score: Jerusalem 26 Lahore 10
Cairo coming off a strong start last week looked to continue their winning ways against 1-2 Lahore. Lahore had a difficult first game in week 2 playing without a pitcher, but Fuzail Thakur was back for their second game of the day settling things on the mound.
Batting first Lahore got off to a strong start as they loaded the bases for Omar Khattab who did what he does best and blast a grand slam. With the mercy run on the bases Cairo did well to hold Lahore to a 6 run first. In the bottom of the inning Cairo got a 2 out rally going and responded with 4 runs of their own.
The game settled into a defensive battle from there, the wind was gusting and both pitchers did well to remain accurate on a tough pitching day. Outstanding defence was played on both sides, with Furqan Usman at catcher, catching out superstar Ali Chaudhry twice.
In the bottom of the 4th, Shamil Khadaroo went yard with a 3 run shot to RF. A rare opposite field homerun for the notorious inside pitch, pull hitter. There was much speculation that the breezy day allowed the ball to carry but Shamil insists it was all power.
With Cairo ahead by 1, Omar Khattab hit another 2 run bomb to give Lahore the one run lead in this back and forth affair. But in the bottom of the inning, Cairo finally got a classic Cairo inning with small ball and base hits producing 6 runs to put them ahead for good.
The game was not without its casualties as Amir Khalil collided with a teammate in pursuit of a fly ball and was shaken up. We wish Amir a speedy recovery as Cairo will need him going forward.
The win brings Cairo to 3-0, while Lahore falls to 1-3. For Lahore the biggest issue is health as GM Aftab Sheikh has had to miss games with injury, as well as a few other players who are nicked up. Lahore is confident they can turn it around once they get all their players back and rolling.
For Cairo, the continued great pitching from Hamza Waheed has only been surpassed by his bat, as he has been helping his own cause with great hitting at the plate. If he can continue this dual threat play and GM Khizer can locate his missing keeper Umair Wasim, Cairo can look to continue its run into tough games against fellow undefeated Medina.
Final Score: Lahore 8 Cairo 13
Final Score: Cairo 1 Jerusalem 1
The first two innings were explosive for this tilt to start the evening at the Valley. Medina started the game off with 4 quick runs with the top of the order . Damascus would not be out done with their own 3 run inning to close out the first. The second inning is where the big boys would flex their muscles. Suleman Mann hit a grand slam to extend Medina’s lead, but Omer Chaudhry would hit one of his own to cut the lead back down to 1. Medina would then hold Damascus to 1 run in the next three innings.
With an 8 run lead heading into the open inning, Damascus would rally, putting up 5 runs. With the pressure mounting, Tanseer Khawaja would calm the nerves from the mound and shut the door on a come back. Medina extends their win streak to 3 with a 16-13 close contested battle. Rookie Zahid Panchbaya pitched his first inning in relief for Damascus, allowing only 2 runs.
Final Score: Demascus 13 Medina 16
The 2nd game on Valley pitted 2 undefeated teams in Medina squaring off against Istanbul. Istanbul was welcoming the debut of 3 key players in Zain Khilji, Kashif Waheed & Riyad Ramjaun and looked to build on last weeks 2-win performance, while Medina was hot off a win earlier in the day against Damascus. Rust proved to be a big deal, as starting pitcher Riyad Ramjaun struggled mightily in his pitching debut, and could not find his rhythm, walking 7 batters. In addition, when they were able to make contact, Medina was hitting the ball hard and purpose, with Ahmad Ammad and Erfan Bahanapatel both going yard, while Zahid Merchant kept his foot on the gas looking to stay atop the league leading hitter, and going a perfect 3 for 3 including a big double.
Istanbul started to fight back, with GM Taqi Ahmed and first round pick Umair Ali hitting big homeruns to make the game a bit more respectable. Riyad was able to settle down after the 3rd inning and had a few 3 up and 3 down innings, but the horrendous start was too much to overcome for the boys in red. Hitting seemed to also be an issue for Istanbul on this night as they managed only 9 total hits and will definitely need to produce more to remain in games.
Mercifully, the rain clouds appeared, and a massive downfall happened during the 6th inning. After a few minutes of attempting to wait it out, the game was cancelled, and the game ended with Medina winning 13-5. Medina goes perfect again and now sits atop the league with a perfect 4-0 record, while Istanbul loses for the first time (and gained a point due to the 2nd game being called a tie). Although still early in the season, Medina looks like a force to be reckoned with and the team to beat this year.
Final Score: Medina 13 Istanbul 5
Final Score: Istanbul 1 Demascus 1