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Week 2 Recap

After a hot and steamy Canada day break, the teams came ready this Sunday to kickoff a stretch of 4 consecutive weeks. Here is what transpired in week 2:
 
Recaps have been written by members of the rumours committee
 
Mamluks v NasridsAfter a two week layover due to the birth of Canada, the brothers of BSL took to the field to recommence after a highly successful opener that seems to have happened ages ago. The rust could clearly be seen on the Mamluks as they built and maintained an early lead, only to squander it as the game began to wrap itself up. The Mamluk bats seemed to be alive and well in the early going as Adeel Alam continued his introduction to the league, along with the rest of the Mamluk players who consistently found their way on base. Unfortunately for the Mamluks, it was after they reached the base paths that their demise slowly began. A number of base running gaffes proved costly as the game became closer, and closer. In addition to the myriad of errors, the Mamluks put on their best circus act as they made uncharacteristic errors to gift the Nasrids with juice to seize the overall outcome of the game. Nirvaan Latif thanked the Mamluks with a big hug after having what should have been a deep fly out off his bat, turn into a generous 'home run' to tip the scales. Additionally, Osman Buttar continued his lack of remorse and determination to destroy the ball by launching two home runs off his bat while Ibrahim 'Sardi' Sardar kept the Mamluks at bay in the latter stages of the game. Add it all up, and you have a 12-10 final for the Nasrids.
Final Score: Mamluks - 10, Nasrids - 12;     Star of the Game - Osman Buttar 3-3, 2 HR, 4 RBIs
 
Ayyubids v Ottomans: 
BW1 had a matchup that featured the only two undefeated teams in the league. The Ottomans showed up bright and early for this heavyweight bout and were already dripping sweat before the game.  The Ayyubids started off with strong base running followed by an error free second inning which ended in a double play thanks to Ahmed and Humza.  Imran Merchant also contributed with a play of the year candidate with an acrobatic diving catch in Center field.  Ali continued his strong pitching with a strike out of former teammate Taha Iqbal. The Ayyubids would add to the lead with two homers by Ahmad Ammad and Mo Kala.  The Ottomans escaped the 4th inning thanks to a double play by Owais Ansari to trail 6-0.  The Ayyubids held the Ottomans scoreless until the 4th inning when Rehan Ahmad and Hammad Afif went back to back to get their team on the board. Rehan homered twice in the game and let the Ayyubids dugout know the game wasn’t over and the Ottomans were coming.
The Ayyubids would add a few more runs as the teams went back and forth in the latter half of the game.  This all set up Zia Ali’s shining moment.  Leading off in the bottom of the 7th, score tied, Zia 'Big Z' Ali, would send the first pitch in deep center and far beyond the fence to walk off with victory.  Game Over.  Ottomans win.
Final Score: Ayyubids - 8, Ottomans - 9;      Star of the Game - Zia Ali Game-winning walkoff HR
 
Nasrids v Ayyubids: The Nasrids looked to capitalize on their come from behind victory against the upstart Mamluks over an Ayyubids squad who had a meltdown of their own in a walk-off loss against the Ottomans. Imran Merchant and Ali Jabbar didn't show their former teammate Ibrahim Sardar any mercy with two huge first inning homers to cap a 4 run inning. The Black Sox looked like a confident bunch throughout the game, however, a string of defensive misplays allowed the Nasrids to recover and take a seemingly commanding 9-5 lead in the 4th. The Nasrids vaunted defense, led by Usama Mahmood and Asad Syed, ensured the Ayyubids were kept at bay for most of the game. However, the Ayyubids used their vocal chords, literally, as well as strategic use of the home run rule to keep themselves in the game. GM Umer Jabbar preached patience at the plate as Nasrids pitcher Ibrahim Sardar started to falter on the mound in the burning heat as the game wore on. Player of the game, Ahmad "Crazy" Ammad demonstrated why he is one of the most dangerous sluggers in the league by crushing his 2nd home run into the rail tracks to help the Ayyubids come from behind for an emotional 10-9 win. The Nasrids know they let an opportunity slip away with inconsistent batting and not being able to take greater advantage of multiple bases loaded opportunities. Both teams ended the day with a 1-1 record and have a lot more work to do moving forward.
Final Score: Nasrids - 9, Ayyubids - 10;     Star of the Game - Ahmad Ammad 3-3, 2 HR, 3 RBIs
 
Ottomans v Mamluks: This game was dubbed as the ‘Battle of MVPs’ but it couldn’t quite live up to its billing. Earlier, Rehan Ahmad and crew had won the game they really came out to play and looked sluggish in this game from the get go. While Taha was warned by the league for being excessively loud in the first game, he was warned by his teammates for being overly quiet in the second. On the other hand, Mamluks were coming off a demoralizing defeat against Nasrids. They hit the ground running and looked purposeful against their already spent opponents. Jibran Waqar started the game off with a customary Homerun and a nonchalant highlight reel double play. Ottomans were made to play catch up every step of the way after that. They were never able to get to a striking distance though as Mamluks’ pitching and defence kept Ottomans at bay. There was little to write home about the Turks in this game but Hammad Afif's second dinger of the day brought some respectability to the final score. While Ottomans were handed their first defeat of the season, Mamluks improved their record to 2-2 after this victory.
Final Score: Ottomans - 3, Mamluks - 9;      Star of the Game - Jibran Waqar 3-3, HR, 4 RBIs
 
Mughals v Seljuqs: The Seljuqs were looking for their first win this season and found themselves chasing as early as the first inning on a 3-run homer from Ismail Akhter. The reds responded with a run on their own but fell into a hole after a 7-run Mughal rally which included another longshot, this time from Faraaz Alvi. The climb was imminent as the Seljuqs continued to put up runs but at a rate that kept them below ground level. The Mughals capitalized on their opponents’ errors without giving too much of their own and played the long ball to cash out on runs. The play of the game was rookie sensation Aqib Khokhar going in the hole and throwing out Zaid Ghansar at first from the grass. The blues took a comfortable 6-run win over the what looked like a sluggish Seljuqs performance.       
Final Score: Mughals - 14, Seljuqs -  8;      Star of the Game - Aqib Khokhar 2-4, 2 RBIs
 
Sultans v Abbasids: With GM Shamil Khadaroo enjoying England’s World Cup run live, Saoud Ramjaun still nursing a broken toe back to health and the audacity of someone close to Hassan Chaudhary 2.0 choosing to have a walima, the Sultans took the field short defensively, forced to borrow a catcher from their opponent.  The glint in the catcher’s eye knowing he could possibly mess up a play at home did not go unnoticed.  The ‘MAGA’ campaign meanwhile was looking to take hold in their third game of the season and get in the win column. 
GM Ahmad Hussain has drafted an excellent team on paper, but the performance has been lacking thus far….and it continued in this game.  The Sultans started their at bat with three straight singles to load the bases.  The clean-up spot was occupied by none other than former Abbasid Khizer Channa who chose to let his old squad know what they were missing out on by going Denny’s Breakfast on his first pitch.  The Abbasids weren’t able to match the four put up by the Sultans but did get a solo homerun by Sameer Rafique who looked as though he had just struck out. In an exclusive interview with the BSL Bugle, Rafique admitted he was not trying to hit the solo shot but just trying to hit the ball hard.  When you’re that good looking, it’s tough not to bang ‘em out this reporter estimates.  The next few innings went as the first did, highlighted by Sultans offense.  Omer Chaudhry hit two homeruns, Zain Malik was consistently touching the opposite field line like he was a highway traffic worker painting in between lanes and both he and Kamil Haider went perfect at the plate.  With a 13-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth (the second Abbasids run coming off another of what will now be known as a Sexy Sameer Solo), the Sultans turned to their bullpen and brought out middle reliever Taqi Ahmed to give their Ace AK a break after a beautiful performance, throwing 33 strikes on 50 pitches and only giving up 8 hits. The Abbasids, taking this move as a great insult, had their best offensive output of the game, scoring four runs. After a little talk from Coach K, the ‘K’ standing for ‘Khan’, Taqi settled into a groove that would result in two more shut out innings including a strikeout.  Player of the Game went to Khizer King T’Channa for going 4-6 including a grand slam and an amazing defensive dive catch in left field. With a final score of 24-6, the teams advanced to their second games of the day.
Final Score: Sultans - 24, Abbasids - 6;      Star of the Game - Khizer Channa 4-6, HR, 6 RBIs
 
Mughals v Sultans: In the final game played on Birchwood 1 for the day, the Mughals and Sultans both had an opportunity to sweep and take their records to 3-1 on the season. The game started off with acting GM Shahzad Ahmed taunting the Mughals with his chili chicken samosas which immediately mesmerized Hassan Chaudhry and had him staring in the Sultans dugout all game. The Sultans took a 2-1 lead into the top of the 5th when a Noor Sheikh double drove him Aazar from first to tie up the game. The top of the Mughals order would tag on 3 more to take a 5-2 lead. Shahzad Ahmed brought Mustafa with him to the plate and hit a screamer over the LF fence that clocked 250 MPH on the radar gun. The Mughals bottom order would blow the game wide open in the 6th on a two-run Nauman Abbasi single followed by a Nadeem Hussain hit to mercy the Sultans. The following inning Khizer Channa blasted his second HR of the day to give the Sultans a pair of runs but it wouldn't be enough as the Mughals outplayed their opponents. The Mughals came away with the sweep while the Sultans settled for the split like every other team. 
Final Score: Mughals - 12, Sultans - 5;     Star of the Game - Noor Sheikh, 2-3, 2 2B, 1 RBI
 
Seljuqs v Abbasids: The Abbasids and Seljuks entered their second game hoping to rebound as both teams dropped their opening game of the day and both were still looking for their first win of the season.  The Seljuks opened the game with a pair of runs but Abbasids replied with a five-run outburst to take a lead and were up 9-8 after the end of two innings – and then the wheels came off.  Seljuks put together back to back 7-run innings while the Abbasid offense dried up putting them up 22-9 after four innings.  The game was marred by an unfortunate incident where Umair Jabbar crushed a homerun to cap off the top of the fourth with him as the 7th run, however his long-ball hit a passerby in the foot causing a delay in the game as players made sure the injury was not serious – thankfully it did not appear to be a major injury and the game was able to eventually continue.  The Abbasids were not able to get their offense to bring them back into this game and are now the only BSL team without a win this season.  The Seljuks on the other hand get their first win and seemed to have found a nice groove that they will look to take into action next week as they look to continue their climb up the standings table.
Final Score: Seljuqs - 23, Abbasids - 9;      Star of the Game -  Umair Jabbar 2-3, 2 HR, 6 RBIs