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Week 7 Rumours

Two weekends left in BSL season 4 and so much is still at stake. Who will finish top 2 in the league and earn themselves a bye? Who will grab the final playoff spot? Will there be any more shockers or walk off wins? One thing we say for sure, there will be home runs at Birchwood 2 so hold on to your hats (or caps) as this is one weekend you don't want to miss before the finale! Let's breakdown the week 7 matchups: 
 
Abbasids (vs. Sultans – 2:00PM BW1; @ Mamluks – 3:30PM BW1)

The Abbasids have to do some soul searching to get out of this slide and into a playoff position. The orange cats will have their biggest weekend of the season that will decide if they will be playing or on vacation in September. GM Ahmad Hussain bought pitcher Hamza Waheed a season pass to Canada's Wonderland to play ball toss all day expecting some big prizes and some consistency on the mound. Ahmad was happy to see Hamza bring home a big plush cat which has been 1 of the few positives to their season. Assistant GM Rameez Siddiqi hasn't skipped a beat even though he has taken on a bigger role as a pitcher and being the team's only offensive representation in the top 20. Everyone on the Abbasids is calling this weekend to be the breakout party for 2016 Offensive player of the year Omer Chaudhry because after this Sunday, there is no turning back. The Abbasids are still mathematically still alive in the playoff hunt but they will need to win all of their final four games and hope for some favourable results from the other games. A single loss will assuredly eliminate them from the second season. They face a tough schedule this week against the Sultans and the Mamluks who are both looking to punch their ticket to the post season.
 
Sultans (@ Abbasids – 2:00PM BW1; vs. Mughals – 3:30PM BW2)

The Stallions had to fight through adversity last weekend without their pitcher Tanseer 'Robocop' Khawaja, shortstop Rafique Chaudhury and a catcher or rover but still came out with something to show going 1-1 and preserving their presence in the middle of the pack. Rookie GM Shamil Khadaroo didn't let anything phase him as he continued to lead by example and continue his impressive run with his 5th home run of the season last weekend. There were fans of the GM here all the way from England yelling "SIX" when he hit a dinger over the fence. The return of ace pitcher and Assistant GM Tanseer Bhai will be huge when facing the Abbasids and the Mughals as Tans always puts extra ghee on his glove when facing the best pitchers in the league. The Sultans can really need Taher Mirza to start finding the sweet spot especially with rumours that Raf might be missing again this week. Zain Malik also had a break-out performance (no pun intended) last week and is driven to help his team continue to put the metal to the pedal. The newly assembled GM trio have been pushing all the right buttons and getting the best of everyone to really showcase the team game. Two wins on Sunday will get the Sultans get over .500 mark and punch their ticket to the post season. 

Mughals (vs. Mamluks – 2:00PM BW2; @ Sultans – 3:30PM BW2)

The Badshah's decision to withdraw from the mid-season tournament was probably the best thing for the team to rejuvenate any blemishes as they got 3 out 4 points last week and find themselves behind the Ottomans. The older bodies on the baby blues got some time on the massage table to get their bodies right for the late season push. Even with the big final inning collapse versus the Seljuqs last week, they were able to defeat the Ottomans and move within 1 point from the top in the league. GM and pitcher Zahid Merchant will really be put to the test facing two top pitchers in the league in Tanseer big bhai and Rizvan small bhai. W K has really turned it around with his new team in baby blue. The second half has already been great for the Mughals thus far and will continue to be so if players like Nadeem Hussain and rookie Khizer Channa can continue to turn their bats around to keep themselves in the running as the top team in the league. Bilal Javed and Ismail Akhter showed they can hit homeruns on any field and with their final four games on BW2, they should be able to add to their homerun totals. Can the Mughals win both games and leap frog the ottomans this week? They start off with a crucial battle against the Mamluks which could at least lock up #2 seed for them. 

Mamluks (@ Mughals – 2:00PM BW2; vs. Abbasids – 3:30PM BW1)

The defending champs have built up plenty of momentum after losing their opening 3 games of the season and responding with a 6-1 run and a mid-season tournament win. They will look to edge closer to the Mughals in the standings with a win as they play their last game at Birchwood 2 for the regular season. Starting pitcher and GM Rizvan Merchant needs to be more masterful than ever, as the league has taken notice that he has been giving up the most homeruns in the league. Apparently, he is still hearing screams of the big walk off infield single last week versus the Seljuqs. The success in the mid-season tournament was exactly what Assistant GM Hassan Chaudhry needed as he had a phenomenal week at the plate last week. The timing is perfect as the season gets deeper and post-season only a few weeks away. The other Assistant GM Jibran Waqar is already firing on all cyclinders plus turbo and nitrous as the Mamluks hope the Jibs Tank has enough gas to last him through the post-season. Zain Khilji (aka Green Giant) has rejuvenated himself and has stayed healthy with the green machine. Rumour has it the Mamluks have banned Khilji from playing soccer and are now reaping the benefits from his upped performances. The Mamluks bottom order has done a stellar job of keeping their offense moving and are the reason for their high run totals. Aftab ‘bhai’ Sheikh has carried on his improved play from the tournament and continues to hold things together in the lower order. Although the Mamluks were set back by the rowdy Seljuqs last week, they will look to continue their hot streak and close the gap on the Mughals and Ottomans to push for that playoffs bye.

Seljuqs (vs. Ottomans – 5:00PM BW1; @ Ayyubids – 6:30PM BW1)

The Seljuqs have been on a rollercoaster of emotions all season and these past three weeks were no exception. The Seljuqs are currently at the top of roller coaster. The team losing their final two games going into the mid-season break left GM Ibrahim Sardar scratching his head. The team entered the mid-season tournament as underdogs but defeat both the Nasrids and the Ottomans earning their birth to the final. Then last weekend, the Seljuqs pulled off a walk-off upset against the Mamluks and then came back from a 10-3 deficit in the bottom of the final inning to shock the Mughals with a tie. Are their pitching woes finally behind them as the GM himself has taken pitching duties upon himself? Haris Mallick is having a career year in the field and at the plate, batting just under .600. It is also nice to see Michael Arlitt and Zuhair Fancy turn the corner with their team in red. The team will continue looking at Zia Ali and A R who both had huge homers last weekend to take the load off the big bats so they can move up the standings this week. Will the Seljuqs use the big momentum builder from last weekend and fight out more wins to solidify a playoff position? They face a difficult task against the Ottomans followed by the Ayyubids. The Seljuqs right now sit without the tie breaker against the Ayyubids (first tie-breaker is wins) so if the Seljuqs lose to the Ottomans, their matchup against the Ayyubids will become a must win for the boys in red. 

Ottomans (@ Seljuqs – 5:00PM BW1; vs. Nasrids – 6:30PM BW2)
 
The once perfect Ottomans had their first setback of the season by losing to M&M (Mamluks & Mughals) last week but still maintain their status as top dogs. Now with their first speed bump and the pressure of a perfect season behind them, the team can focus on fine tuning themselves in the final four games of the season. GM Hashim Ghazi is still away as he has changed his facebook status to married (mA). Rumors are that members of the team asked their GM to petty cash their flight with the newly couple for bonding purposes but it was shot down right away. Coach, Assistant GM, and cheerleader Rehan Ahmad has really been leading by example with his .771 batting average, 27 hits and already hitting the cycle in one of his games but will be missing out this weekend while he is living his field of dreams moment in Iowa. Their new top order of Atif Khan and Sameer Rafique, whom have combined for 40 hits, will have to shoulder more responsibility with their leaders away. Ahmad Ammad might get his first chance to hit clean-up. The team is expected to welcome back Shaheen Limbada who missed the first BSL games of his career last week. Rookie Zia ‘Doc’ Beg had his first subpar Sunday of the season and will be important to see how the old rookie responds this week. The Ottomans have already locked up a playoff spot and should have the #2 seed in the bag but now find themselves fighting to hold on to the #1 seed.

Nasrids (vs. Ayyubids – 5:00PM BW2; @ Ottomans – 6:30PM BW1)

The Nasrids have finally learnt to move up in the standings as they earned their first 2-0 weekend in franchise history. GM Kashif Waheed and the rest of the team are pleased with the 3 wins in the last 4 games after 3 walk off loses earlier in the season. The Nasrids captain Nirvaan Latif has taken on the offensive responsibility while Assistant GM Osman Buttar has helped shape up the defense. Both have been leading the pack with batting averages of .594 and .568 respectively. With no big family weddings, the team has more time to hit the cages and the results have shown. Rookie sensation Salman Ahmad (no not Imran Khan's right hand man) has sprayed hit a batting average of just under .600. Joining Salman are Nirvaan, Osman and Zaid Ghansar to represent 1 / 5th of the top 20 in batting average. With Greenbirds members potentially missing this week, the team will really need to rely heavily on Kamil Haider and NK to fill big shoes to keep their playoff spot. Another unanswered question that still lingers for this Sunday is what type of facial hair A K be showcasing from the pitching mound. We predict a groovy goatee. The Nasrids will be hoping the Greenbirds show up for game time as they face off against the Ayyubids in a crucial playoff battle and then the top seed Ottomans. Going 0-2 could be devastating for the team’s playoff chances with only one week to go. 

Ayyubids (@ Nasrids – 5:00PM BW2; vs. Seljuqs – 6:30 BW1)

The Ayyubids also decided to withdraw their team from the mid-season tournament and have been playing 500 ball as they have the whole season. The older brothers GM Umer Jabbar and assistant GM Ali Jabbar went to visit the Queen to try to find some answers and maybe a rishta from a princess for their younger brother but came back empty handed. Speaking of assistant GM Umair Jabbar, he seems to have finally shaken off his early season injury woes and is starting to hit the ball with authority again. Faheem Kotwal also needs to find some 2nd half form to complement the power bats with some speed. Rookie Omar Dhaduk seems to have turned his season around with four homers in as many games but still has a lot to prove in his vital position at short. With a big weekend upcoming at BSL, Omar Dhaduk chose to get married this weekend and it remains to be seen whether Omar and Umair are able to make it back for game time. Even with a split last week, the Ayyubids management are keeping their spirits high as the approach a pivotal Sunday. With Ali Jabbarhitting like a stud, the lower order of the Ayyubids need to step up to give their leadoff hitter an opportunity to drive in runs. Can team 'orange is the new black' pull off two big victories against the two teams they are tied with for the final playoff spot? Two victories this week could lock up the playoffs for the Ayyubids while two loses could see them fall out of the postseason for good.

This is it... the penultimate week... Who will rise? Who will fall? Let the games decide...
 

Week 6 Recaps

The second half of the season got underway on Sunday and we had some surprising upsets. The undefeated Ottomans took two shots to their record while the Nasrids doubled up their win total to move into a playoff spot. Our new recap writers found the task overwhelming so we go back to our original writer. Here is how the action went down: 

Ottomans v Mamluks: BothThe Mamluks were looking to be the first team to take down the undefeated Ottomans this year. The Turks were without two GMs Hashim Ghazi and Shaheen Limbada which left the Turkish army vulnerable. The Mamluks struck first on a two run double by Rizvan Merchant but it didn't take long for the Ottomans to reply with a three run shot from Hamza Hussain, his maiden homerun. We went into the sixth inning tied at 9s. The Mamluks took the opportunity to blow the game open with a 7 spot, led by a two run single by Zain Khilji, double by Hassan Chaudhry and triple by Jibran Waqar. In the 7th, the Ottomans replied with a couple runs but were unable climb all the way back. The Mamluks got a statement win against the leagues best while the Ottomans were humbled for the first time this year. 

Final Score: Ottomans - 11, Mamluks 16      Star of the Game - Hassan Chaudhry - 4 for 4, 3 2Bs

Mughals v Seljuqs: Blue and Red took to BW2 to start off the day and it was a tale of two halfs. The Mughals came out rocking with two homeruns and  day started off the bats of Nadeem Hussain and Waseem Kala in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead. The Mughals would grow their lead to 9-1 at one point on a Asim Qurayshi single that scored 3 runs. The Seljuqs couldn't get anything going offensively as they came into the final inning down 10-3 but that's when they woke up. They were given a lifeline by the Mughals with a pair of walks that Randy Panesar brought home on a three run dinger. The bottom order singled all around to load the bases with the winning run at first base. Imran Merchant singled and Taha Iqbal hit a bullet to third that got through the infield to tie the game at 10-10. Shoaib Gaya came up with the winning run at third base but hit into a ground out to end the game. The Seljuqs keep themselves in the playoff hunt with a remarkable comeback in the final frame. The point could be vital for them as approach the final two weeks. The Mughals however will be kicking themselves for uncharacteristicly blowing a lead that would have tied them for top spot in the league. Both teams might look back at this game once the regular season is over as either their saving grace or their opportunity cost. 

Final Score: Mughals - 10, Seljuqs 10      
Star of the Game - Taha Iqbal - 3 for 4 - Game tying RBI

Ottomans v Mughals: With the Ottomans unbeaten record tarnished, they were looking to come away with consolation to hold on to the top spot in the league. The Mughals needed this win if they had any chance of moving past the second seed. The Mughals started off hot once again on a three run monster shot by Ismail Akhter. The Mughals would blow it open in the third with 6 runs led by a two run single by Nadeem Hussain and a two run double by W K. The Ottomans would find two runs on a single by Rehan Ahmed to make it a 10-5 game. The Mughals replied immediately with a long shot by Bilal Javed and would tag on a few more in the final frame to come away with a comfortable win. The win puts the Mughals one point behind the Ottomans for top spot. 

Final Score: Ottomans- 8, Mughals - 16 
     
Star of the Game - Bilal Javed - 3 for 3, 2B, HR, 3 RBIs 

Mamluks v Seljuqs: 
As if a 7 run inning comeback wasn't enough for one day, the Seljuqs showed they had more magic in their bat bags. Imran Merchant and Jibran Waqar traded homeruns to tie the game at 3s in the 4th. The Mamluks would take a 9-4 lead in the 6th on an Aftab Sheikh double that scored two runs. The Seljuqs replied with a Randy Panesar three run homerun, his second of the day. Zia Ali would follow that up with a two run dinger to give the Seljuqs the lead. In the top of the 7th, Jibran Waqar hit his third homerun of the game to give the Mamluks an 11-10 lead. Imran Merchant would reply with a leadoff homerun in the 7th to tie the game. The Seljuqs would move the winning run to third base with 2 outs with Randy Panesar at the plate. On a 2-1 count, Randy would run out an infield single to give the Seljuqs a walkoff win. The Red army come away with 3 invaluable points with their season on the line, which keeps them tied for the final playoff spot. The Mamluks earn a split which keeps them in third place. 

Final Score: Mamluks- 11, Seljuqs - 12      
Star of the Game - Randy Panesar - 3 for 4 - HR, 4 RBIs

Nasrids v Abbasids: The two teams trying to get out of the cellar took battle again, the Abbasids earned their only win at the hands of the Nasrids last time while the Nasrids needed a big week if they had playoff aspirations. The Nasrids would jump out to an early 4-0 lead on RBI doubles by Osman Buttar and Zaid Ghansar. They would grow their lead to 10-0 when Osman Buttar hit a grand slam in the 2nd inning. The Abbasids would respond for six unanswered runs to bring the game within striking distance at 10-6. The Nasrids would put in another 5 runs in the 6th inning to put this game to bed. Once again, the Abbasids slow start and struggling offense let them down while the Nasrids showed they are a team that can score in bunches. 

Final Score: Nasrids- 15, Abbasids - 6      
Star of the Game - Usama Mahmood - 1 for 3 - Turned 3 double plays

Ayyubids v Sultans: 
It was black vs white in the crucial matching for standings. The Ayyubids got on the board early for a 2-0 lead but Captain Sham would hit a three run homerun in the 1st to give his team the lead. Sham would hit his second of the game in the second inning to give white a 8-2 lead. The Sultans would get a 7 run mercy inning in the third to take a 15-4 lead and never looked back. The Ayyubids would get some consolation runs on a homerun from Omer Dhaduk but the Ayyubids will feel disappointed in their effort. The Sultans however earned two valuable points playing with the minimum number of players. 

Final Score: Ayyubids- 9, Sultans - 17      
Stars of the Game - Omair Zuberi - 2 for 4

Sultans v Nasrids: The Nasrids doubled up their points total on Sunday with a second victory on the day. In one of the lowest scoring games in BSL history, both teams combined for a total of 9 runs with all those runs coming in the second and third inning. The scorekeeper was reported sleeping on the job until a foul ball woke him up. N K would give his team a two run single for a 4-3 lead and baby bro A K drove in his older bro with a single to give his squad a 5-3 lead. The Sultans would score one run but A K shut the door to give his squad a 5-4 win and a total of 4 points on Sunday. 

Final Score: Sultans- 4, Nasrids - 5      
Star of the Game - A K 

Abbasids v Ayyubids: The Abbasids needed any points in their second game on Sunday to postpone the outcome of their season while the Ayyubids could find themselves out of the playoffs if they didn't get a W. Both teams knew their seasons were on the line and  they played a heck of a game. An old saying goes, I reply to your 7 with a 7. That's what these teams did. The Ayyubids put up a 7 spot in the first and the Abbasids responded with a 7 of their own that ended with an Omer Chaudhry homerun. The game was tied in the third when Mohsin Zubair hit a three run homerun to give his team a 12-9 lead. The Ayyubids would respond with a 7 run inning that ended with a Faraaz Alvi homerun. The Abbasids would come back to tie the score in the 4th before the Ayyibubids took the lead for good on a Mohamed Kala double. The Abbasids would score one run in the final inning but would fall just short. The Ayyubids come away with a win in a slugfest while the Abbasids fall further down the standings with their season on life support. 

Final Score: Abbasids- 17, Ayyubids - 18      
Star of the Game - Mohamed Kala - 2 for 2, 2 2B, Game winning RBI

Mid-season Report: Ayyubids, Seljuqs, Nasrids & Abbasids

Everyone loves an underdog and we have seen teams rise up from the bottom to contend for the title. The 2015 championship game had two teams that were in the bottom half during the break. It doesn't matter how you start the season but how you end it. Guest writer Shahid Dawoodi breaks down the final four teams at the break:

Ayyubids

Quick-Hits

Record: 3-0-5
Charity Represented: Islamic Relief Canada
GM: Umer Jabbar
Captain: Umair Jabbar
Top Performer: Ali Jabbar
Second-half Sleeper: Faraaz Alvi
Biggest Surprise: Ali Jabbar
Remaining Schedule: @ Sultans, vs Abbasids, @ Nasrids, vs Seljuqs, @ Mughals, vs Mamluks

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Ayyubids

0.409

0.482

0.565

1.047

9

17

9.3

7th

5th

6th

6th

5th

8th

7th

 

Preseason Batting Rating: C
Mid-season Batting Rating: B-

Ayyubids’ failures this year are a direct result of misfiring superstars. While Faraaz Alvi has largely been on the cusp of breaking out, failures of Umair Jabbar, Omer Dhaduk and Umer Jabbar remain the sticking points on Ayyubids stats card. Ali Jabbar and Atif Akhtar have kept Ayyubids’ offensive boat afloat so far with good consistent hitting. Dhaduk also looks to be on the verge of breaking out as he smacked three homeruns last game week. The Ayyubids’ resurgence is directly proportional to the offensive resurrection of their stars.
  

Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Ayyubids

36

11

2.4

8th

4th

4th


Preseason Infield Rating: B-
Mid-season Infield Rating: C

Preseason Outfield Rating: B-
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B-

Ayyubids’ defense this year has been sloppy and there is little surprise that they find themselves as the worst defensive team after half way through. Absence of a superstar in the infield has been touted as the main reason for their defensive woes. Ayyubids’ mid-season priority should be to tighten up their defense to complement and sustain their pitchers’ success at the mound.

 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Ayyubids

10.1

1.1

1.1

1.2

4th

3rd

5th

1st


Preseason Pitching Rating: A
Mid-season Pitching Rating: B+

Ali Jabbar has been a standout this year with both bat and ball in his hands. Even though his overall pitching efficiency has been down from previous years, you can count on him to level it out by end of the season. Jabbar will demand greater consistency from his defense as he aims to shut down the oppositions.

 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

The upsurge of Omer Dhaduk at the plate seems well timed but it is important that Dhaduk is able to sustain this good performance. Umair and Umer Jabbar will look to take a leaf out of Dhaduk’s book to ensure they keep the Ayyubids from the shores of relegation. Defense will also need to tighten up to give Ali Jabbar the support he’s been demanding.  

Seljuqs

Quick-Hits

Record: 2-1-5
Charity Represented: Nisa Homes
GM: Ibrahim Sardar
Captain: Imran Merchant
Top Performer: Ibrahim Sardar
Second-half Sleeper: Michael Arlitt
Biggest Surprise: Haris Mallick
Remaining Schedule: vs Mughals, vs Mamluks, vs Ottomans, @ Ayyubids, @ Sultans, @ Abbasids

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Seljuqs

0.460

0.489

0.659

1.148

8

27

10.3

1st

2nd

4th

4th

6th

4th

6th


Preseason Batting Rating: B-
Mid-season Batting Rating: B

Seljuqs have lived up to their billing of being slow starters. This can be largely attributed to attendance issues as they've had their top players missing for prolonged periods. Imran Merchant and Ibrahim Sardar have carried their team offensively in the first half of the season with the support of Haris Mallick and Taha Iqbal. While Seljuqs have been one of the top OBP teams, their cleanup hitting trio of Merchant, Fancy and Iqbal have struggled with men in scoring position, averaging .250, .300 and .500 respectively in such cases. If Seljuqs are to cut the flow of bad performances, it has to start from their sluggers.


Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Seljuqs

21

12.3

2.9

2nd

6th

6th


Preseason Infield Rating: C
Mid-season Infield Rating: B

Preseason Outfield Rating: A
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B+

As expected, Seljuqs has had one of the staunchest defenses in the league with errors second only to the Ottomans. Defensive reading for Seljuqs could have been even better had their top fielders not been forced to the mound. Another thing working against the Seljuqs has been their players' vacation schedule. Regular absences have had the management scratching their heads to adjust their defense on the go.


Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Mughals

5.97

0.8

1.5

2.6

1st

1st

2nd

4th


Preseason Pitching Rating: B
Mid-season Pitching Rating: C

Pitching has been a nightmare for Seljuqs this year. Their first-choice starter, Shoaib Gaya only lasted 1/3 innings which forced their first choice third baseman, Taha Iqbal to take up pitching. Iqbal has been largely inconsistent on the mound, walking 10 batters per 7 innings pitched. With Ibrahim Sardar also appearing in a few relief appearances, Seljuqs pitching future looks highly uncertain.
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

Seljuqs have some immediate challenges to address if they plan on reviving their fledgling season. Their pitching decisions and consistency at the mound will dictate how they fare for the remainder of the season. Indications are that the Seljuqs will continue to be impacted by absences from their top players which if true, might spell the end for them. They kick start the second half of this season with tough games against the Mughals and Mamluks this Sunday.

Nasrids


Quick-Hits

Record: 2-0-6
Charity Represented: ICNA Relief
GM: Kashif Waheed
Captain: Nirvaan Latif
Top Performer: 
Osman Buttar
Second-half Sleeper: Kamil Haider
Biggest Surprise: Salman Ahmed
Remaining Schedule: @ Abbasids, vs Sultans, vs Ayyubids @ Ottomans, @ Mamluks, vs Mughals

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Nasrids

0.423

0.473

0.563

1.036

6

27

11

6th

6th

7th

7th

7th

5th

5th


Preseason Batting Rating: B-
Mid-season Batting Rating: C

Nasrids have generally been poor, apart from random spikes of brilliance. Mughals were at the receiving end of Nasrids’ best and if they’re able to replicate what they did against the Mughals then there would be few who’d consider their legitimacy as contenders. Osman Buttar has yet again been the lynchpin of the Nasrids’ offence. He has received able support from Nirvaan Latif, Zaid Ghansar and rookie, Salman Ahmed. It is Nasrids’ inconsistency that has proven to be their worst enemy over the years and if they can guard against sudden ebbs in performance, they’d be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season.
 
Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Nasrids

23

12

2

3rd

5th

3rd


Preseason Infield Rating: B+
Mid-season Infield Rating: B+

Preseason Outfield Rating: B+
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B

Nasrids defense has been solid through first half of the season and is led well by defensive stalwarts Usama Mahmood and Nirvaan Latif in the infield and Osman in the outfield. There are still weaknesses in the field which opponents will look to target in the coming weeks.
 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Nasrids

12.7

1.8

1.3

2.8

6th

6th

4th

5th


Preseason Pitching Rating: B
Mid-season Pitching Rating: B-

After failed pitching experiments in two previous seasons, Nasrids’ expectation from AK was of greater consistency and AK has delivered on that expectation for the most part. AK’s experience at the mound will come into play as he looks to improve on his performance from the first half – There is a little caveat though, can AK maintain his good attendance for the remaining games?
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

Nasrids’ have shown great unpredictability about their play during the first half. One moment they’re amazing and next moment they’re pedestrian. It’ll be interesting to see which Nasrids side will turn out for remainder of the season. For their sake, they need to come off the blocks motivated and hungry.

Abbasids

Quick-Hits

Record: 1-2-5
Charity Represented: 
Hospital for Sick Children
GM: Ahmad Hussain
Captain: Ahmad Hussain
Top Performer: Rameez Siddiqi
Second-half Sleeper: Omer Chaudhry
Biggest Surprise: Rameez Siddiqi
Remaining Schedule: vs Nasrids, @ Ayyubids, vs Sultans, @ Mamluks, @ Ottomans, vs Seljuqs

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Abbasids

0.319

0.468

0.537

1.005

6

24

8.4

8th

8th

8th

8th

7th

7th

8th


Preseason Batting Rating: A
Mid-season Batting Rating: C

Coming into the season, Abbasids looked to have all the right pieces needed to challenge for a playoff berth. Their dream came crashing down on them as they have gradually capitulated. Number one draft pick, Omer Chaudhry has had a horrid run, contributing to the overall failure. With only Rameez Siddiqi averaging over .500, it is no surprise that Abbasids are at the bottom of the standings. Big names like Chaudhry, Hussain, Afif, Irshad and Qureshi will need to step up if Abbasids are to progress to the knockout stage. With weak defense and pitching, Abbasids only hope of reviving their season will have to be through offence.
 
Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Abbasids

35

15.5

3.4

6th

8th

7th


Preseason Infield Rating: C
Mid-season Infield Rating: C

Preseason Outfield Rating: B
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B-

Weak defense has been at the forefront of Abbasids’ struggles this year. Early season injuries resulted in players fielding out of position, weakening the already weak defense. In the absence of defensive superstars, it is hard to fathom the thought of Abbasids turning things around in the field.
 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Abbasids

18.3

1.9

1.4

7.1

8th

7th

3rd

7th


Preseason Pitching Rating: C
Mid-season Pitching Rating: C

Although Rameez Siddiqi has revived Abbasids’ flailing pitching fortunes to a certain degree, Abbasids’ overall performance in this department has been disappointing. If Siddiqui can bring command and consistency to his pitching, he might be able to offer Abbasids a glimmer of hope.
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

Abbasids’ key to success is through their offensive resurgence. If this strong batting lineup can transform its fortune, the rest of the league will be forced to pay more respect to the franchise. Pitching and defense doesn’t seem to have much to offer but the key would be to stay in the games, sustain pressure and give enough support to the offense to close out tight games.

Are you ready for the second half now? We sure are. Can't wait till Sunday. Let's play ball 

Mid-season Report: Ottomans, Mughals, Mamluks & Sultans

We have passed the midway mark and the second half of the season is ready to go. Before we resume, our special guest writer Shahid Dawoodi breaks down each team through the first half (final four teams will be posted tomorrow):

Ottomans

Quick-Hits

Record: 8-0-0
Charity Represented: Smile
GM: Hashim Ghazi
Captain: Rehan Ahmad
Top Performer: Rehan Ahmad
Second-half Sleeper: Shaheen Limbada
Biggest Surprise: Sameer Rafique
Remaining Schedule: @Mamluks, @Mughals, @Seljuqs, vs Nasrids, vs Abbasids, vs Sultans

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Ottomans

0.449

0.473

0.779

1.252

20

54

14.7

3rd

6th

1st

1st

1st

1st

1st

 

Preseason Batting Rating: A
Mid-season Batting Rating: A

As projected at the start of the season, Ottomans’ offence has proven to be unstoppable as they steamroll their adversaries. Rehan Ahmad has shown no signs of slowing down with age and weight as he has been the mainstay of the Ottomans’ offence while racking up MVP-caliber numbers for a third year in a row. Sameer Rafique is finally showing what he can do and is making up for all the lost time in mediocrity. He has started delivering on his potential which should silence all his critics for good. Atif Khan was always expected to be solid with the bat but with him exceeding expectations, Ottomans’ offence has become all the more lethal. Shaheen Limbada has had an unusually quiet season thus far but expect him to turn it around in the second half. With Ahmad Ammad, Shoaib Bhatti and Zain Fancy heating up, Ottomans’ offence looks overwhelming.

Batting has been Ottomans strongest suit and it should drive their overall success through remainder of the season.
  

Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Ottomans

18

8.1

1.7

1st

1st

1st


Preseason Infield Rating: A-
Mid-season Infield Rating: A-

Preseason Outfield Rating: B-
Mid-season Outfield Rating: A-

The Ottomans not only rip the leather off the ball but they also play stingy defense. Mid way through the season, they currently lead the league in all defensive stat categories. As expected, Sameer and Atif have been electric on the left side of the infield and have let very little go by, if any at all. With Shaheen in the left field and Rehan rotating between center and right, Ottomans’ enterprising defensive approach has helped protect the relatively weaker right side of the field. This weakness is no secret as teams have taken notice and expect to exploit it in the second half of the season.
 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Ottomans

7

1.3

0.8

3.5

2nd

4th

8th

6th


Preseason Pitching Rating: C
Mid-season Pitching Rating: A-

Zia Beg has easily been steal of the draft and is in running for rookie of the year award. Beg’s composure and control has stood out which has practically transformed a perceived weakness at the start of the year to essentially a strength. Ottomans’ strong defense has contributed to Beg’s overall success but there is no doubt that Beg has held his own in this very competitive league.
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

The Ottomans have built great chemistry during their remarkable early season run, but may now be in danger of hitting a roadblock. With GM Hashim Ghazi getting married this coming weekend, the squad are expecting key absences in the next couple of weeks. If the Ottomans can withstand this minor hiccup, there is very good chance that they will have first place all mopped up going into the playoffs.   

Mughals

Quick-Hits

Record: 6-0-2
Charity Represented: Naseeha
GM: Zahid Merchant
Captain: Nadeem Hussain
Top Performer: Zahid Merchant
Second-half Sleeper: Ismail Akhter
Biggest Surprise: W K
Remaining Schedule: @Seljuqs, vs Ottomans, vs Mamluks, @ Sultans, vs Ayyubids, @ Nasrids

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Mughals

0.432

0.487

0.618

1.105

10

27

11.3

5th

4th

5th

5th

4th

4th

3rd


Preseason Batting Rating: A
Mid-season Batting Rating: B-

The Mughals’ first half of the season has been like uncarbonated soda with some under par performances from their top guns and exceeded expectations by the supporting cast. While Zahid Merchant, Yousaf Choudhry and WK have risen to the challenge, Ismail Akhter, Nadeem Hussain and Bilal Javed have had it tough in the first half of the season. Their season can only go as far as their big bats take them and Ismail/Bilal are not showing enough signs of last year’s form. Bottom order hitters continue to show improvement and the depth of the Mughals order is still their strength.


Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Mughals

35

9.1

4

6th

3rd

8th


Preseason Infield Rating: B-
Mid-season Infield Rating: B-

Preseason Outfield Rating: B
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B+

The Mughal defence was considered one of the best coming out of the draft but the first half of the season has been a struggle. The infield has looked out of sync with routine underhand tosses being dropped and collisions on easy fly balls. There is plenty of talent in their defenses and management hopes that they have gotten all the mistakes out of the way. The outfield has been up to the task and have been their reliable as usual.
 

Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Mughals

5.97

0.8

1.5

2.6

1st

1st

2nd

4th


Preseason Pitching Rating: A
Mid-season Pitching Rating: A

Pitching has always been the trump card for the Mughals and it is no different this year. While the walks per game might be high for a Cy young pitcher, Zahid Merchant has lived up to the expectations in every other pitching statistic. The Mughals GM has been working his craft in offseason and has displayed a few new pitches this year that has surprised hitters.
 
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

The Mughals have shown that they are still one of the best teams this year despite their deficiencies. Apart from one ugly Sunday at Powerade, they have emerged victorious in every other week. If they want to be considered title contenders, their offense will need to make more happen and their infield will need to clean up the mistakes. The Mughals are ones that can become an elite team with a few corrections.

Mamluks


Quick-Hits

Record: 6-3
Charity Represented: Muslim Welfare Centre 
GM: Rizvan Merchant
Captain: Hassan Chaudhry
Top Performer: 
Jibran Waqar
Second-half Sleeper: Hassan Chaudhry
Biggest Surprise: Javwaad Ahmed
Remaining Schedule: vs Ottomans, @ Seljuqs, @ Mughals, vs Abbasids, vs Nasrids, @ Ayyubids

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Mamluks

0.447

0.489

0.673

1.162

14

34

12.9

4th

2nd

3rd

3rd

3rd

3rd

2nd


Mamluks have bounced back with assurance from a terrible start to the season, losing their first three and then taking the next five. Early struggles can be attributed to early season rust but reversal in fortune is a direct result of improvement in offence. While Jibran Waqar is putting together a customary MVP caliber season, Hassan Chaudhry has had a surprisingly underwhelming season thus far. The consistency of Rizvan, Umair Asad and Zain and resurgence of Javwaad Ahmed and Aftab Sheikh are all indicative of a strong second half.
 
Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Mamluks

22

8.4

1.7

3rd

2nd

1st


Preseason Infield Rating: A
Mid-season Infield Rating: A

Preseason Outfield Rating: C
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B+

Just like their offence, Mamluks’ defense is highly reliant on Jibran and Hassan as well but it is clear from the defensive stats that the Mamluks’ supporting cast has stepped up to bring about greater solidity. The addition of Zain Khilji in the outfield and the reliability of Umair in the infield has also contributed to their balanced defense.
 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Mamluks

7.58

1.5

1.1

1.4

3rd

5th

5th

2nd


After great success in his rookie season as a pitcher, Rizvan was always expected to deliver the goods again, this year. While he started slow, he has shown over last couple of weeks that he’s still one of the best in the league. With Rizvan finding his groove, opposing teams should expect things to get harder in the second half of the season.
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

Mamluks seem to be building camaraderie similar to what we saw last year. While all three facets of the game have improved with the season, Mamluks’ pitching remains their strongest suite. Although we have seen a sprinkling of brilliance with the bat and in the field, there are still weaknesses that can be exploited both in their batting lineup and in their defense.

Sultans

Quick-Hits

Record: 3-4-1
Charity Represented: 
Hospital for Sick Children
GM: Shamil Khadaroo
Captain: Shahzad Ahmed
Top Performer: Shahzad Ahmed
Second-half Sleeper: Taher Mirza
Biggest Surprise: Akif Waheed
Remaining Schedule: vs Ayyubids, @ Nasrids, @ Abbasids, vs Mughals, vs Seljuqs, @ Ottomans

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Sultans

0.453

0.490

0.737

1.227

17

41

11.1

2nd

1st

2nd

2nd

2nd

2nd

4th


Preseason Batting Rating: B-
Mid-season Batting Rating: A

Sultans started off their season with a bang and it was their highly-touted offence that led the charge. Even though they have recently stumbled in their march towards the playoffs, it is expected that they’ll rally up a run to finish top-two in the standings. Shahzad Ahmed has shown no signs of slowing from last year as he continues to tear his opposition apart. The rejuvenated Khan and Choudhury duo has provided the much-needed depth to the Sultans’ lineup while Mirza’s struggles have been surprising. Sultans will look to up the ante as they make a charge towards the playoff.
 
 
Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Sultans

26

12.7

2.9

5th

7th

5th


Preseason Infield Rating: B+
Mid-season Infield Rating: B-

Preseason Outfield Rating: B
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B-

Defense has been Sultans’ weak link this year. This can be largely attributed to underperforming superstars and defensive imbalance. The Sultans have struggled to find consistency at second base and at outfield rover which has cost them a few games. Even with their imbalanace and players playing out of position, the Sultans have studs at key positions in the field which should keep them in contention. 
 
 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Sultans

10.7

2

2.6

1.5

5th

8th

1st

3rd


Preseason Pitching Rating: A
Mid-season Pitching Rating: B+

Tanseer Khawaja’s pitching has been solid so far and he has given very little away through eight games. His greater consistency at the mound has naturally resulted in slightly higher ERA but if offence continues to provide Tanseer with the run support, he has enough guile to pitch his side to victories.
 
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

Offence and pitching has carried Sultans through to the mid-season break but it is paramount that the defense steps up to bring more balance to their overall strength. We expect Taher to break out of the rut he is currently in which should provide greater solidity in the offence. While Sultans’ hope for sustained performances from Akif, Rafique and Faisal, they also hope for Zain Malik and Shamil Khadaroo to produce consistent results.

Coming up tomorrow.......a look at the underdogs, hungry to dismantle the top dogs of BSL and make waves as we approach the playoffs.