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2017 BSL Awards

Congratulations to our 2017 BSL Award winners: 
Check out their profile page to see their awards

Rookie of the Year:  Omer Dhaduk - Ayyubids

Most Improved Player: 
Akif Waheed - Sultans

Mid-Season Tournament MVP:  Aftab Sheikh - Mamluks

Gold Glove Award:   C - W K, 1B - Umair Sheikh,  2B - Aftab Sheikh, 3B - Nirvaan Latif, SS - Jibran Waqar,   P - Zahid Merchant, OF - Taher Mirza, OF - Michael Arlitt, OF - Osman Buttar, OF - Umair Jabbar

Batting Title: Rehan Ahmad - Ottomans

All-star Game MVP: Jibran Waqar - Mamluks

Strike Out Champion: Tanseer Khawaja - Sultans

Homerun Title: Jibran Waqar - Mamluks

Best Pitcher Award: Zahid Merchant - Mughals

Best Offensive Player: Rehan Ahmad - Ottomans

Regular Season MVP: Rehan Ahmad - Ottomans

Playoff MVP: W K - Mughals

Brotherhood Award:  Asim Waheed - Nasrids

BSL All-Star Sunday Recap

The All-star festivities were action packed and it was a phenomenal way to finish off the season. The best of BSL put on a show for all those that turned up to watch. 

Here were the winners from the competitions: 

Pitching Showdown: Zia Beg with 21 points (New record)

Longest Throw Challenge: Imran Merchant with a throw of 208 feet

Running Bases Challenge: Sameer Rafique with a time of 13.77 seconds

Spray Hitting Challenge: Ibrahim Sardar with 7 points on 15 hits

Home Run Derby: Osman Buttar with 16 Home Runs in 4 minutes (New record)

The All-Star started off in a competitive affair until the Ansaar blew the game open in the 5th inning with a 7-spot and followed that up with another mercy inning two innings later. The Muhajir tried to mount a comeback with a 7-spot of their own but it was too little too late. The Ansaar came away with a 23-15 victory. The night wasn't done as the youngin's (Under 31) challenged the Vets to a game for bragging right. The night ended with the youngin's licking their wounds after a 22-11 defeat to the wisemen of BSL.

2017 BSL All-Star Sunday

After a fantastic season, we close down the diamond after our annual All-Star festivities. The very best of BSL in 2017 come together to show off their skills and play the final game of the season. The festivities begin at 1:30pm with the skills competition followed by the All-Star game at 4:30pm at Birchwood Park. 

BSL Skills Challenge: This year each individual competition will carry a $100 donation for the winner's team charity. Every BSL team will pick representatives from their team to participate in the Skill Competition. A player is only allowed to participate in a maximum of 2 skills competitions. The Competition will begin at 1:30PM.

Pitcher Showdown (1 pitcher per team)
Each pitcher will be allowed 30 pitches. Hitting the mat will be 1 point and hitting the targets on the mat will be 2 points. The pitcher with the highest total will be awarded the winner.

Running Bases Challenge (2 players per team)
Each player will run from home plate around the bases back to home and will be timed. Missing a base will be a 2 second penalty. The top two will face off one more time in the finals.

Longest Throw Contest (2 players per team)
Each player will get three throws from Centre Field into a box in the infield. The longest throw within the box will be awarded the winner.

Spray Hitter Challenge (1 player per team) 
Each hitter will get 15 swings to hit balls to 6 outfielders. There will be 2 fielders in LF, CF, and RF. The fielders will not be able to move except pivot. Every ball hit direct to the fielder (makes contact with fielder) will be 2 points and any ball hit after a bounce to the fielder will be 1 point. The most points after 15 swings will be the winner.

Homerun Derby (1 player per team)
Each player will get a total of 4 minutes on the clock to hit as many homeruns as possible. The player can pick his own pitcher and will have one 45 second timeout. A pitch can only be thrown once the previous hit lands. The clock will stop for any homeruns hit in the final 30 seconds only and restart once the next pitch is thrown. The player with the most homeruns will be awarded the winner. 

Following the Skills Competition, we will have the 4th BSL All-Star game. This year's top two vote getters Jibran Waqar (67) and Rehan Ahmad (65) selected their teams through a draft. The 9 inning game begins at 4:30pm. Here are the teams: 


Congratulations to the 2017 BSL Champions - Mughals

Congratulations to the 2017 BSL Champion Mughals who beat the Nasrids 19-18 in a one of the best games of the season.

With the Nasrids down by 5 runs in the top of the 8th inning, they rallied with two outs to score 5 runs to tie it up. In the bottom of the 8th, the Mughals got Mohammed Ali Pasha aboard and Yousaf Chaudhry drove him home with two outs to give the Mughals a one run lead. In the top of the 9th, the top of the Nasrids order couldn't get anything going and the Mughals shut it down to win their second championship in history.

 



2017 BSL Finals Preview

As a chilly morning breaks on the final day of the BSL season, fans are ready to cozy up to this incredible Cinderella story that has left everyone stunned. In a true fan favourite fairy tale, this year's BSL final is one for the storybooks! And it seems as though the Nasrids finally got their ticket to the ball!

What started as another prediction for a boring battle of the blues, was cut short by some miraculous intervention by a fairy godmother sporting a '22' jersey.

Spectators were left with their jaws dropped for what became a historical upset for the league. Those who were at the field can hardly believe it, and whatsapp is on fire as the information is shared across social media.

It's true folks... the Nasrids are playing the finals today.

After years of watching from the sidelines, these boys are ready to join the big leagues. And since the fans are always biased towards the underdogs, this year we can't wait to see some magic happen at the finals.

The glory of playing for the crown is something the Mughal's are all too familiar with, but let's not forget, that even though the Nasrids may have clenched victory in the semis with nothing short of a miracle, it was the Nasrids who brought down the badshahs during the regular season, for their first taste of victory, giving the Mughals a chance to see what loss looks like.

The boys in blue couldn't sleep comfortably last night, knowing that the power of the Nasrids has the ability to shake down the crown off their heads.

Fans are expecting a flawless performance by Usama Mahmood to keep team blue from advancing on base, and the power lies with Osman Buttar and Nirvaan Latif who have to rise to the occasion with big batting performances at today's game.

All this theatrics is quite familiar for GM Zahid Merchant, who has seen his fair share of drama this season and hasn't flinched in the face of serious competition. With Bilal Javed and W K by his side, a tight D and a stellar pitching record, they are ready to steamroll across the big happy family, putting an end to their 'happily ever after'.

BSL has set up extra benches for the expected turn out of the Nasrid family. Rumour has it that they plan on showing up in big numbers and it's also been said that their fan following has already made reservations for their victory dinner. Although there's no such noise coming from the Mughals camp, sources say that they have celebrations plans on speed dial.

It's getting close and we're all holding our breath. Come witness the most spectacular match up of all times as the Nasrids step on the field to take on the fierce Mughals. We all believe in happy endings, and it's a promise that one team will happily leave the field as victors, but fans are hoping that the Nasrids are able to capitalize on their ticket to the finals and give us all a show to remember!

The stage is set for the biggest showdown in the history of BSL. Be there to witness glory. The finals start at 5:15PM

2017 Wild Card 2 & Semi-Final 2 Rumours

Playoff weekend is finally here. Last week we previewed the right side of the bracket that included the Seljuqs, Mamluks and Mughals. This week we focus on the left side of the bracket with the Nasrids, Sultans and Ottomans. The Nasrids will take on the Sultans in the second wild card game with the winner moving on to face the #1 seed Ottomans. Let's breakdown these matchups: 

Wild Card Game #2 - Nasrids vs. Sultans  - 5:45pm Birchwood 1
 
Nasrids

The Nasrids make their first playoff appearance in what has been an exciting season for both the players and the fans. To begin the season, we really thought the outcome was as clear as the previous two, managing a lackluster 0 wins and 4 losses in as many games. This year they didn’t give up. We can look back and say the new additions to their squad definitely had an amending impact. The Nasrids were back in business when they blew up the undefeated Mughals in game #5, 17-5 and nobody saw that coming except the squad themselves as they refused to suffer the same fate of previous years. The very next game they lost their composure and points to the struggling Abbasids. Here we go again. The next week, we saw solid performances against the Ayyubids and Seljuqs where a walk-off loss forced them to go 1-1. They were starting to build on their chemistry and consistency and it showed again the very next week as they has something to prove by going 2-0 for the very first time in franchise history. Salaam Cup came around as their core of greenbirds were set to miss their games in an all-important weekend. The team responded with a 30 run record win followed by a clutch win against a performing Mamluks team the following week. The Nasrids are hosting their best squad since their inception and have proven they can beat top teams. They are playing as the underdogs at the BSL 4 playoffs.

The Nasrids have a lot of work to do if they are determined to get their hands on the prize and getting through the Sultans and Ottomans on Saturday will require their best from everyone. Nasrids’ first rounder Kamil Haider did not have the best season with his bat and will need to turn it around to push his team deeper into the playoffs. The other additions of Rookie Salman Ahmed and Sophomore Zaid Ghansar have really contributed to the Beige offense with great base-hitting and on base percentages for their clean-ups to cash in. These 3 players have made a profound impact in the squad with their performances, positivity and determination and are integral in determining how deep the Nasrids will go in the second season. The clean-up crew consists of Osman Buttar, Sir Nirvaan Latif and Usama Mahmood. Usama is on top form sweeping the infield from any trace of his opponents while turning 2 time and time again. It seems Sir Nirvaan has had back problems recently as our reporters saw him at the local Costco buying A535 in bulk. Also documented, Dr. Kamil prescribed him Naproxen so that he could mow his lawn. AK has been the go to guy on the mound and has shown he can compete with other pitchers in the league. With everything locked down, this year, the Nasrids are ready to play ball.

The Nasrids play their wildcard game against the Sultans splitting their games 1-1 during the regular season. Both games have been close with the Sultans winning the first by 3 and the Nasrids winning the second by 1. With everything on the line, each at bat and each play will affected the result. The Ottomans who they lost to both times this season, wait for them in the semifinals if they are able to get by the Sultans. Assuming their bats continue to click, the key to victory is limiting their errors, holding runners, and preventing runs that will turn into big innings. With little playoff experience in the squad, how far can the Nasrids go.


Sultans

The Sultans will definitely look back at their season and think they should have done better than a 6-7-1 record. After redefining their squad, they finished 4th in comparison to 6th last season where they snuck into the playoffs at the death. The stallions were unable to go 2-0 in any week this season and were forced to chip away at the wins column. They started off the season making a name for themselves with a walk-off homerun against the Mamluks and solid wins against the Nasrids and the Ayyubids. However, they were unable to beat the Ottomans who were deemed unstoppable from the get go. Things went downhill before the mid season tourney where the whites lost 3 consecutive games, 2 of which were to teams higher than them, the Mamluks and the Mughals. Unfortunately, they lost a won game when a game ending error allowed a Mughal to smash a walk-off homerun the next at bat. They continued to suffer more bad luck when Rafique Chowdhary dislocated his shoulder ending his unmatched season and that's when the Sultans started to play short missing players every week. Team management deserves a lot of credit for rallying up whoever they had at their disposal to finish the season respectably with 3 wins and 3 losses, 2 of which they lost by only 1 run. It seems the whole squad will be present for the playoffs including Raf who was a last minute addition to the roster and are now back to being a team that shouldn't be taken lightly.

The Sultans have game changers at their service and they will need to utilize them in full this second season as the climb to reign victorious is not in their favour. Although they split their games against the Nasrids, their wildcard match up, the Stallions went 1 for 6 against the top 3 teams in the regular season and lost to the mamluks in the mid-season tourney. After analyzing their games we can conclude that their defense were one-step behind their opponents but now that they have options again with players returning for the playoffs, we may see a different side to the whites. Offensively the Sultans always look threatening, especially with the likes of Shahzad Ahmed in the lineup. The bats of GM Shamil Khadaroo, Akif Waheed and Zain Malik have been great assets to the club to move through the lineup and cash in a good number of RBIs. Although Taher Mirza had a very average season with his bat, he remains the staple in the outfield making plays as if he's wearing a jet pack. He does require a tire change or 2 for those who get it. Speaking of staple, Tanseer 'robocop' Khawaja is a great pitcher to have in the playoffs as his experience and composure gives him an edge over batters in a pressure filled format called the playoffs. Raf is the team's shortstop and second powerhouse but how healthy he is after his injury remains a question on how well he and his team will perform.

The Sultans take on the Nasrids who have been in great form as of late and there will be no room for a slow start. Although they looked better than the Nasties (the Sultans have salty names for each team) in the regular season, the playoffs are a whole 'nother ball game. If they can undo their wildcard knot, they will face the Ottomans for the right to move on to the finals. They lost both games by a close margin to the Ottomans so they will feel they have a chance against the top seed. The key to their success is their defense and making all routine plays will help them stay closer to the prize than having to rely on the bats to carry all the weight.

 
Semi-final #2 - Nasrids/Sultans vs. Ottomans - 7:45pm Birchwood 1

Ottomans


The Ottomans are the favorites. After 3 years of living in the shadows of champions, they look to be the ones who make the shadow. After such a dominant season, it could all mean nothing if they can't do it again in the playoffs. Since draft day, we knew this team was an offensive powerhouse but we didn't expect this much power. After just the first week they had the league anxious about facing them and they continued to steam roll any team that sat in the opposite dugout. 4 weeks later we saw the Ottomans on mount first place, 8-0, undefeated and unforgiving. After the midseason break, the Turks came down to where we could see them, losing to both the Mamluks and the Mughals on Birchwood 1 and suddenly the Ottomans were beatable. It turned out to be one bad week as they started the roller again and gave it some steam finishing with a convincing 12-2 record. That record says enough about their chances at the cup this year.

We already know the Ottomans are amazing this year and Rehan Ahmad had a record breaking season and all so let's just put all that aside and they still have some minor weaknesses that can be exploited. It won't be easy to stop this train. It's a given the Ottomans will score runs with so many batting options in the lineup . The long ball is no issue as the team hit 42 homeruns combined, more than any team in BSL history. A lot of the boys in navy are having career years and it really reflects in their record. What about Sameer Rafique? I don't need to say it. Sameer and Atif Khan anchor the left side of the infield while Shaheen Limbada and Rehan patrol behind them. Talk about a stacked team. No team however, is covered in pure gold as the Otto-management know about their vulnerabilities very well and will look to steer their opponents away from them or compensate accordingly. The right side of the field is not nearly as consistent as the left but can't be considered a weakness. Zia 'Doc' Baig has really held the mound for the Otto-bots as they assembled their best season at BSL and relieved their everlasting pitching woes. His custom however is to give up a couple free-bees especially in tight situations that could cost them. The Ottomans have only run into a deficit twice this season and look to keep it that way to recolour the BSL logo in Navy and Red.

The Ottomans await either the Nasrids or the Sultans in the semis, both of who suffered sweeps at their hands this season but had to fight for it against the Sultans. They will feel pretty comfortable in either match up as they contrast the strengthens and weaknesses of both teams against theirs. The key to victory is to not feel the pressure of the big game and base hit when needed before going for the fences. The Ottomans might already be preparing for the finals. 


The playoffs are finally here! See everyone on Saturday!
 

2017 Wild Card 1 & Semi-Final 1 Rumours

Now the real fun begins – as we bid farewell to the Abbasids and Ayyubids, there remains six championship hopefuls that have a date with destiny next weekend. Six teams, seventy-two players, four semi-finalists, two finalists, and one champion. It’s that simple – we will crown the best team in BSL Season Four. Previous records, matchups, stats, and probabilities mean nothing. It’s do or die. Win, and you move on. Lose, and you move out. The only that stands in the way is Eid-ul-Adha this weekend. 

The right side of the bracket has the Seljuqs taking on the Mamluks in the wild card game for the right to play the Mughals in the Semi-Finals.  In this edition of rumours, we break down this side of the playoff bracket: 
 
Wild Card Game #1 - Seljuqs vs. Mamluks  - 2:00pm Birchwood 1
 
Seljuqs

The Seljuqs have had quite the entertaining season this year. If there was ever a TV drama series made about a Muslim softball team, we can just imagine Netflix calling up BSL for rights to make a show about the 2017 Seljuqs. The season has been nothing but a roller coaster for the red army. It all started with surprising early round picks to shock the entire draft hall followed by a horrendous pitching debut for their new starting pitcher. Then came a dramatic walk-off win against the Nasrids. From the peak of the roller coaster, came a last inning tie against the Abbasids that included a player ejection. Back to the top of the ride, they demolished the Sultans 18-4 at Powerade followed by two losses the following week on their way down. A 7 run final inning tie against the Mughals and a dramatic walk-off single against the Mamluks putting them back into contention. In the penultimate week, Michael Arlitt saved their season with a diving catch that would have practically eliminated them from the post-season. As they celebrated a brilliant win, they learnt later that night their Captain Imran Merchant was done for the season with a broken wrist. All that is needed is a long post-season run and the rights to film a documentary on the most dramatic softball season should be making it's way to Hollywood.

On things for sure, the Seljuqs will have their work cut out for them as they enter the playoffs. We have all but assumed that Imran Merchant is done for the season with a cast on his hand, but you can never say with Imran, after all, he is superhuman. The two other mortal and sane GMs Ibrahim Sardar and Taha Iqbal are currently out of the country but are expected back just in time for their wild card matchup against the Mamluks. Currently, the biggest question for the Seljuqs, the same question all season, who is their pitcher. Four pitchers have started for the Seljuqs and the most reliable has been GM Ibrahim Sardar but it is unclear whether Sardar will be ready to pitch immediately after returning from a 12 hour journey the night before. Riyad Ramjaun may be called upon to make another start if Sardar doesn’t find his equilibrium. The Seljuqs offense has developed some good form as they enter the all or nothing stage of the season. Michael Arlitt has been swinging a hot bat and leading the team with a 0.611 average including a BSL record 6 hits in one game last Sunday. The Seljuqs don’t have a power filled lineup but have plenty of contact hitters that can wreak havoc on the base paths. Shoaib Gaya is on the verge of being one of those hitters, if he stops striking out. On the inside, he contains the power the Seljuqs need and unleashing it will be the key for the birds this post-season.

The Seljuqs will face the Mamluks in the wild card matchup, a team they have a 1-1 record against this year. In their first matchup, the Seljuqs were undermanned on Powerade green that resulted in a 12-5 loss and in their second on field 2, they climbed back for a 12-11 walk-off win on a Randy Panesar single. The Seljuqs don’t lack any motivation and will be amped up coming into their fourth consecutive wild-card appearance. The formula for success is simple: Reliable pitching and constant base-runners. The best chance the Seljuqs have at winning is to get to the Mamluks early and hold a lead. Against a stingy defence, they will find it very difficult climbing back to win again in a do or die game.

If the Seljuqs can get by the Mamluks, they will have the Mughals waiting for them. With a 0-1-1 record against the them, the Seljuqs will need the same formula if they will be able continue their inflatable Cinderella type season and reach the finals.

Mamluks

The Green Machine came into the 2017 season with a big target on their backs and it didn’t help that they got off to a disappointing start. It couldn’t get any worse to start the season when they lost their first 2 games by 1 run each. The following week they ran into the Ottomans stone cold wall to go 0-3 before they finally got their first win against the Nasrids. From there, the Mamluks ran into some good fortune to open their green gates against a shorthanded Seljuqs and a reeling Ayyubids squad at Powerade Centre. Sometimes when you get off to a poor start, you need a favorable schedule to turn your season around and full credit for the Mamluks for seizing the opportunity. The Mamluks went on to produce an 8-game winning streak that included the mid-season tournament title before they were up-ended by the Seljuqs in another 1-run loss. The Mamluks lost the opportunity to earn a bye as they lost another 1-run game to the Nasrids in week 8. The Mamluks results may be starkly different than last year but their dugout buffets certainly aren’t. The Mamluks enjoy the game with exuberant celebrations and smoked ribs that wait for them in the dugout. Team staff were thrilled to see the Ayyubids did not qualify for the second season as scavenger Umair Jabbar was eating significant portions of their feasts. Throughout the season, their success can be attached to the MVP-caliber play of Jibran Waqar. Already considered one of the best defensive players in the league, Jibran showed he can also play the long ball and cleanup by smashing a record with 16 homeruns in 14 games, 2 of which were at Powerade. He remains of the biggest threats in the league and can change a game with a single at-bat. The offense has been built around his power and the Mamluks use their spray hitting to keep defenses in check.

The Mamluks come into the playoffs riding a hot streak and their bats clicking at the right time. The top of the order has been ignited by Zain Khilji who is having the best year of his career since GM Rizvan Merchant made interventions in his personal life. Team management is aware that this is usually the time Khilji tends to face injury issues and they have placed a two week ban on any sports for their leadoff man. They have also benefitted from three players having brilliant bounce back years. Aftab Sheikh is a top candidate for most improved player and he made it a little more convincing going 6-6 and belting a Birchwood 1 homer last Sunday. Javwaad Ahmed is back to hitting over 0.500 and Saoud Ramjaun has doubled his hit total from the last two years combined. Those three have solidified the Mamluks bottom order and have brought plenty of luxurious dishes to the buffet every week.

In the wild card game, the Mamluks will face the Seljuqs logging a 1-1 record against them this season. Their first matchup was a blowout victory against a less than full Seljuqs lineup on Powerade and the second a walkoff loss on BW2. The Mamluks are one of the chattier teams and it was interesting to watch the Seljuqs defeat them at their own game but they still come into the wild card game as heavy favourites. The Mamluks offense is a close second to only the league leaders and have the ability to blow a game open and their defense is far superior to the Seljuqs especially without Imran Merchant. The concern for team management is the failure to win close games this year and they are playing against a team that has won half their games by a couple runs. The formula for the Mamluks is simple: Score early and often. If the Mamluks offense scores in bunches, they will be very difficult to beat.

If the Mamluks can get past the Seljuqs, they will set up a re-match of last year’s final against the Mughals. They split their season series against the Badshah’s this year including a statement win in week 7. Both teams know each other very well and team scouts will be working overtime to prepare for the wild card and semi-final matchups.
 
Semi-final #1 - Seljuqs/Mamluks vs. Mughals - 4:00pm Birchwood 1

Mughals


The mighty Badshah’s have been a model of consistency in BSL and they just completed their fourth consecutive regular season with 10 plus wins. The success has been built on a steady, non-flashy approach to the game and intense scouting. They surprised everyone with their early round picks of Bilal Javed, Yousaf Chaudhry and W K and many questioned how new players would affect their team chemistry and baseball IQ with such a stark contrast from previous rosters. The new Mughals have found a way to bring the troops together and continue to play the same style of softball. The baby blues started off the season 4-0 until they self-destructed at Powerade Centre including a 17-5 blowout loss to the Nasrids. Speaking of baby blues, there were cries heard from the left side of the infield that week. The Mughals responded with a 4-game winning streak until they lost to the Mamluks in week 7. They came into last Sunday playing high-leverage games against the Ayyubids and Nasrids, needing two wins to lock up 2nd place and they responded royally with two solid outings to easily win both games and earn the all-important bye and home field in the semis. The power bats of Ismail Akhter, Bilal Javed and W K and all bats in general are starting to come alive at the right time but the biggest concern for them before the playoffs is the health of AGM and gold glover Nadeem Hussain. Nadeem was held out of last week’s games to help him recover from a pulled groin muscle and team doctors have been working overtime to help him get back to full health.

The Mughals have been a team built on stingy defence and pitching this year. They have only allowed more than 12 runs twice this season both coming in blowout losses. Apart from those two games, they have held their opponent under 10 runs in 8 games including their last three. It wouldn’t be a Mughals write up without talking about GM Zahid Merchant. No one can deny he has been the team staple every year and his consistency on both sides of the field will be so damn important in the playoffs. This year, Z recorded the best ERA in a BSL season with the help of his stellar outfield and will look to do it again in the second season. On the other side of the ball, the Mughals offense has really struggled compared to their standards having only scored more than 15 runs three times (only once against a playoff team). Despite having a potent lineup, they have been unable to score many 7-run mercy innings to blow games open as consistency in the order just isn’t the way it used to be. With four players batting under 0.400, their bottom order has been rolled over too many times to keep innings alive and looking in deeper, W K is the only Mughal player having a career year with the bat. However, many Mughals are starting to find their swing including Aazar Zafar, Yousaf Chaudhry and Bilal Javed. Their success in the playoffs will be heavily dependent on their ability to score runs to give their defence the opportunity to shut down games.

The Mughals will play their 4th consecutive semi-final next Saturday against the winner of the Mamluks v Seljuqs wild card game. Mughals have shown they are slow starting team which could spell trouble if their opponents come out hot from their wild card game. A good start will be mandatory to avoid having to chase, a position the Mughals have not been comfortable with. They don’t have a clean record against either team so they will should expect a difficult matchup regardless who comes out on top. The Seljuqs were conveniently defeated by the Mughals in their first matchup but were forced to score 7 in the final inning to tie their second matchup. The Mughals defeated the Mamluks by one run in their first matchup but got dusted by the Mamluks by 13 runs in their second matchup. The Mamluks probably pose more problems for the Mughals as a team that can easily outscore them. The formula for their success on Saturday: Score early and keep their composure. If the Mughals can get their power bats going, their pitching and defense should have enough to carry them through to the championship Sunday.

Next week, we will preview the left side of the bracket with the Nasrids/Sultans and Ottomans. Eid Mubarak everyone!
 

Week 7 Recaps

The 2017 BSL regular season is officially over. It turned out that no teams changed standings this week and the final playoff spot was awarded without the beneficiary even playing a game. This regular season had many records broken and the competition level reaching an all time high. Jibran Waqar smashed the record for most homeruns in a season, Rehan Ahmad most hits, highest average and most RBIs in a season, Atif Khan for most runs scored in a season, Michael Arlitt with 6 hits in a game, Zahid Merchant for lowest ERA in a season, and the Nasrids scored 30 runs for the most in a game. There is plenty of celebrate but that will have to wait until the most important season is over, the post-season. We bid farewell to the Ayyubids and the Abbasids. Both teams should be proud of their accomplishments and sportsmanship. They missed out on the playoffs this year but many of them still had career years. We are sure we will see them again next year.

The playoff matchups are set. Wild card and Semi-finals will be played on Saturday September 9th. The third place game and Finals will be played on Sunday September 10th on BW1. 

#3 Mamluks will play the #6 Seljuqs in the first wild card game for the rights to play the #2 Mughals in the Semi-finals.

#4 Sultans will play the #5 Nasrids in the second wild card game for the rights to play the #1 Ottomans in the Semi-finals.

Game times are still being finalized. Stay tuned later this week for more details. 


Week 8 Rumours

The final week of the 2017 regular season is here. Every team still has something to play for and three playoff spots are still up for grabs. Last week Faraaz Alvi, Nadeem Hussain and Taha Iqbal were the next three inductees into the BSL 100 hit club. This week could see three more inductees. Let's breakdown the week 8 matchups and playoff scenarios: 
 
Mamluks (vs. Nasrids – 2:00PM BW1; @ Ayyubids – 3:30PM BW1)

The Mamluks continued their remarkable second half of the season with two important wins last week and will be looking to keep it going this Sunday to move into second place. They will face two teams fighting for their playoff lives so they should expect some resistance. They finish up their season with two games on field 1 which should help prepare them for the playoffs. Jibran Waqar has hit a record 14 homeruns this season but only two have come on field 1. He will face two quality pitcher hoping to keep him from increasing his total this Sunday. The Mamluks squad are planning a potluck after their games this Sunday so let's see how focus they come. 

Scenarios (Playoffs clinched): Finish 1st place with 2 wins and Mughals 1 loss and Ottomans 2 losses and higher run differential, Finish 2nd with 1 more win than Mughals, Finish 3rd with same number or less wins than Mughals
 
Nasrids (@ Mamluks – 2:00PM BW1; vs. Mughals – 3:30PM BW2)

The Spaniard face the biggest Sunday in their franchises history this Sunday. The franchise has never reached the second season and this year's squad has done everything possible to get them to the second season. From growing moustaches to changing uniforms, the Nasrids want to play in September. The good news is they control their own fortune after earning a big win over the Ayyubids last week. The bad news, the Nasrids face two of the strongest teams in BSL this year. The Nasrids need atleast one win this Sunday but losing both games could see them missing out again. They start off Sunday against the Mamluks on field 1 and finish off against the Mughals on field 2. The Nasrids are expected to have the Greenbirds back after their salaam cup championship. It will be interesting to watch how they fit back into the squad after they scored 42 runs in two games without them. Regardless, the Nasrids have a chance to make history and they can only blame themselves if they can't get the job done this Sunday. 

Scenarios (Magic number: 1): Finish 4th with 1 more win than Sultans, Finish 5th with same number of wins as Sultans/Seljuqs/Ayyubids, Finish 6th with 1 less win than Seljuqs and Ayyubids, Finish 7th with two losses combined with Seljuqs and Ayyubids winning both their games

Mughals (vs. Ayyubids – 2:00PM BW2; @ Nasrids – 3:30PM BW2)

The Badshah's suffered a disappointing loss to the Mamluks last Sunday which leaves them exposed to falling out of the second spot. The most frustrating part of the Mughals this year has been their lack of offense on field 2. They have been able to hold opponents in check and score just enough runs to get wins. Even with the squad feeling disappointed with their recent form, they have only lost one game since Powerade on July 23rd. They will have a chance to redeem their loss to the Nasrids this Sunday after they were embarrassed at Powerade. Big question will be the health of gold glover Nadeem Hussain who continues to nurse a groin injury that limited him last week. The Mughals must win both games to guarantee the second seed but might be able to get some leeway if the Mamluks lose a game this Sunday. Falling out of the second seed isn't disastrous but means the Mughals would have to put in extra work in a wild card game before they meet the Mamluks in the semis.

Scenarios (Playoffs clinched): Finish 1st place with 2 wins and Ottomans 2 losses, Finish 2nd place with 2 wins or 1 win and Mamluks 1 loss, Finish 3rd if Mamluks win one more game than Mughals

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

The blacks come into Sunday on the outside looking in and hoping they get some good fortune to help them squeeze into the playoffs. After losing two games last Sunday to give up control over their own fate, the Ayyubids will be hoping they get a full squad this Sunday to keep their playoff streak alive. The Ayyubids defence was exposed last week without Faheem Kotwal and Sikandar Aftab which lead to 43 runs in two games. This Sunday their defence will need to provide pitcher Ali Jabbar more help if they will have any chance of making the second season. It won't be easy as they face off again two top teams in the Mughals on BW2 and then Mamluks on BW1. The equation for the Ayyubids is simple, win one more game than the Seljuqs on Sunday and they are in. They hold the tie-breaker with more wins so they just need to finish in a tie with the Seljuqs in points to leapfrog them into the playoffs. 

Scenarios (Magic number: 2): Finish 4th with 2 wins with Sultans/Nasrids/Seljuqs each losing both, Finish 5th with 2 wins and Sultans/Seljuqs losing both combined with Nasrids winning 1, Finish 6th with 1 more win than Seljuqs or Nasrids, Finish 7th with same number of wins as Seljuqs and Nasrids

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

The stallions come into the final Sunday firmly placed in the middle of the table and needing just one win or a loss by the Ayyubids to lock up a playoff spot. The Stallions have not been able to sweep a Sunday so far this year and will need to start that trend if they expect to lift the trophy. The bad news for them is all their games are done on Birchwood 2 which means less homerun ball. The Sultans face off against the Seljuqs in game one and the Ottomans in their second game. The last time they faced the Seljuqs, they were hammered by 14 runs at Powerade. Their last encounter against the Ottomans was a 12-9 loss. This Sunday will prove if the Sultans are real contenders.

Scenarios (Magic number: 1): Finish 4th with 2 wins or equal number of wins as Nasrids/Seljuqs on Sunday, Finish 5th with 1 less win than either Nasrids or Seljuqs, Finish 6th with 1 less win than both Nasrids and Seljuqs, Finish 7th with 2 losses combined with two Ayyubids wins and Nasrids/Seljuqs each winning one game on Sunday

Seljuqs (@ Sultans – 5:00PM BW1; @ Abbasids – 6:30PM BW2)
 
The angry birds came away with another dramatic victory last Sunday in a do or die match against the Ayyubids. The victory gave the Seljuqs control over their own destiny. The Seljuqs need to win atleast one game more than the Ayyubids to hold on to the final playoff spot. The Seljuqs have the schedule in their favour as they play the Sultans and the last place Abbasids while the Ayyubids have to play M & M (Mamluks & Mughals). The bad news for the red squad is they will be without some of their star players. GM Ibrahim Sardar is away at Hajj  (mA) and Captain Imran Merchant is nursing a wrist injury which might keep him out on Sunday. The Seljuqs will have to step up to fill in those big shoes and sneak out a win on Sunday to earn a trip to the second season. 

Scenarios (Magic number: 2): Finish 4th with 1 more win than Sultans and Nasrids, Finish 5th with 1 more win than Nasrids, Finish 6th with equal number of wins as Ayyubids, Finish 7th with 1 less win than Ayyubids and Seljuqs on Sunday.

Ottomans (vs. Abbasids – 5:00PM BW2; vs. Sultans – 6:30PM BW1)

The Ottomans sit one win away from locking up the #1 seed for the first time in franchise history. The boys in blue have been near perfect so far this year with their only blemishes coming on a Sunday without two of their GMs. They come into the final Sunday looking to keep the momentum going as they approach the playoffs. The Ottomans have benefitted from multiple players having career years including Atif Khan, Sameer Rafique, Hamza Hussain, Yasser Zia and reigning MVP Rehan Ahmad. They face the Abbasids in their first matchup before they encounter the Sultans once again in a playoff tuneup. The Ottomans will want nothing more than two victories in the final week. 

Scenarios (Playoffs clinched): Finish 1st place with 1 win or Mamluks/Mughals losing 1 game each, Finish 2nd with two losses and Mughals or Mamluks winning both games

 
Abbasids (@ Ottomans – 5:00PM BW2; vs. Seljuqs – 6:30 BW2)

The Abbasids have had another season to forget after missing out on the post season for the second consecutive year. A team full of potential and power hitters were unable to realize their potential. This Sunday they have the opportunity to play spoiler and show the league they are much better than their record suggests. It is also an opportunity for players to increase their draft value for next year. The Abbasids would finish with the lowest winning percentage in BSL if they were to lose both games. This Sunday may not mean much for them playoff wise but they don't want to be remembered in the history books for the wrong reasons. The orange will be hoping they can get a full squad once again and play competitive ball against two playoff teams. First up they play the first place Ottomans and a victory here might just be something to remember all winter. Next up they will play the Seljuqs in what could be a playoff game for the Seljuqs. You can expect there might be some Ayyubids that will be bandwagon Abbasids fans this Sunday. 

Abbasids (Eliminated): Finish 7th with 2 wins and two Ayyubids losses
 


Who gets in and who goes home? That will all be determined on the field this Sunday. 
 

Week 7 Recaps

The penultimate week started off with some blow outs but finished off with a classic. The Ottomans got a surprise re-appearance from their superstar and a superstar-less team put together a record setting performance. Here is what happened: 

Sultans v Abbasids: The Abbasids had one hope to stay in the hunt, win or be eliminated. The Abbasids got down in an early 3-0 hole on a Zain Malik two out single that brough home two. The Abbasids replied back for a pair but could never catch up. The Sultans would put up 3 more in the second on Akif Waheed's single and Shahzad Ahmed Sac fly. The Sultans would score another 4 in the 5th inning which basically put an end to the Abbasids playoff hopes. Key absences put a lot of pressure on the Abbasids which they weren't able to overcome. The Sultans move one point away from locking up a playoff spot.

Final Score: Sultans - 10, Abbasids - 5      Star of the Game - Akif Waheed - 2 for 4, 2 RBIs

Mamluks v Mughals: Whenever the Mughals and Mamluks play each other, viewership is as high as an India vs Pakistan match (the jerseys match too). The last time these two squad faced each other, the Mamluks comeback attempt fell just short as they lost by 1 run. This time the Mamluks came out fiiring on all cyclinders as they took an early 3-0 lead on an Asad Moten 3-run homerun. The Mughals replied back with a pair of homeruns from Ismail Akhter and W K to tie the game. Zain Khilji put the Mamluks back on top with a bases clearing 3-run triple. The Mamluks put up another 4 runs in the 4th courtesy of their bottom order. To make matters worse for the Mughals, gold glove outfield Nadeem Hussain had to pull himself from the field due to injury. Jibran Waqar would add two late game homeruns to put the game out of reach as the Mamluks beat the Mughals and now sit one poiint back of second place. 

Final Score: Mamluks - 18, Mughals - 5      
Star of the Game - Javwaad Ahmed - 4 for 4, 2 2B

Abbasids v Mamluks: With only pride left to play for, the Abbasids showed they won't quit as they took an early 8-1 lead on the Mamluks through two innings. The Abbasids offense once again went silent after that. The Mamluks chipped away at the scoreline as while the Abbasids went scoreless the final 4 innings. The Mamluks would eventually take the lead in the 5th inning on Umair Sheikh's reached on error. The Abbasids would get base runners in the final inning but made the cardinal mistake of being thrown out at home by Jibran Waqar to end the game.

Final Score: Abbasids- 8, Mamluks - 9 
     
Star of the Game -  Noor Sheikh - 1 for 1, 2 RBIs

Mughals v Sultans: 
With second place still up for grabs, the Sultans walked over to field two looking for redemption from their walkoff loss in week 4. It was the Mughals that made the opening statement with a 5 run first inning. The Sultans would load the bases themselves but would come away empty handed. The Mughals tacked on two more with a Yousaf Chaudhry homerun. GM Shamil Khadaroo would bring the Sultans back with a two run homerun to make it 7-4. Akif Waheed would make it 7-6 on a two run single. W K would give the Mughals insurance with a 2 run homerun as they would add another three runs to coast home with a 12-6 win. The Sultans left the bases loaded twice and timely hits could have change the outcome of this game.

Final Score: Mughals- 12, Sultans - 6      
Star of the Game - Yousaf Chaudhry - 3 for 4, 1 HR

Ottomans v Seljuqs: The Ottomans were stinging so bad after their 0-2 week last week that it prompted AGM Rehan Ahmad to leave Kevin Costner behind to play catch by himself at the field of dreams. The Ottomans were definitely a different team this Sunday as they poured in 18 runs. Homeruns by Rehan Ahmad, Sameer Rafique and Shoaib Bhatti fueled the offense. Rehan Ahmad finished the game 5-5 including the strangest single you will ever see in your life as he crawled half way to first on a grounder hit in the infield. The Seljuqs game went from bad to worse when superstar outfielder Imran Merchant made a brilliant diving catch but hurt his wrist in the process. We still wait for word on the severity of the injury but wish him a quick recovery.  

Final Score: Ottomans- 18, Seljuqs - 4      
Star of the Game - Rehan Ahmad - 5 for 5, 7 RBIs

Ayyubids v Nasrids: 
With Salaam cup taking over half the Nasrids offense, the Nasrids were just looking for any points on Sunday to keep themselves in the playoff hunt. However, the Spaniards got a spirited effort from their boys to put up a BSL record 30 runs. The Ayyubids gave up three mercy innings. In the 5th inning, the Ayyubids closed the gap to 16-11 but then the Nasrids scored 14 unanswered runs to run away with the game. Two homeruns from Nirvaan Latif and two more from A K solidified the result. Every player on the Nasrids got a hit as the full team contributed to the record setting win. 

Final Score: Ayyubids- 11, Nasrids - 30      
Stars of the Game - Asim Waheed 

Seljuqs v Ayyubids: In the most anticipated matchup of the season, plenty of BSL players stayed back to watch a must win game for both teams. The fans got rowdy when they heard Ayyubids ace Ali Jabbar left before the game for a wedding. Ironic considering Omer Dhaduk flew in after his wedding to make this game. The Ayyubids repaid the Seljuqs for 6 walked in runs by Atif Akhtar after the Seljuqs gave the Ayyubids  runs in week 1 courtesy of Shoaib Gaya. Now that that debt was settled, we hoped there would be a game. GM Umer Jabbar took over the mound and settled things down. With the score 9-7 going into the final inning, a Taha Iqbal double scored one and Haris Mallick drove in two with a single. An error brought in Haris for 13-7 lead going into the bottom half. Atif Pervaiz drove in Mo Kala to make it 13-8. With two out and two on, Faraaz Alvi hit a 3-run homerun to make it 13-11. The Ayyubids would keep the rally going and load the bases with Mohamed Kala up. Kala hit a shallow flair to CF which Michael Arlitt tracked down to make a game-saving diving catch to end the game and save the season for the Seljuqs. 

Final Score: Seljuqs- 13, Ayyubids - 11      
Star of the Game - Michael Arlitt - Game saving catch 

Nasrids v Ottomans: The Nasrids were looking to follow up a record breaking performance with the biggest upset of the season. However, that is where they would be brought back to reality. The Nasrids hot bats continued as they started the game with another 7 run mercy inning, their fourth of the day. The Ottomans would reply with 4 runs of their own. GM Kashif Waheed hit a 3-run homerun to increase the lead to 10-4. The Ottomans would drop a 7 spot on the Nasrids in the second to take the lead and control from then on. The Ottomans would score another 7 in the 5th on Sameer Rafique's second homerun of the game to take a commanding 20-11 lead. The Nasrids would score one more but the Ottomans get their second win of the day and take full control of the #1 seed. The Nasrids showed a spirited effort and came away with a split on Sunday to keep them in line for their first post-season appearance. 

Final Score: Nasrids- 12, Ottomans - 20      
Star of the Game - Sameer Rafique - 2 for 3, 2 HR

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.