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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.