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Week 3 Recap

On a blazing hot summer day, many teams suffered from regulars choosing the beach over softball. Nonetheless, all teams had enough to get their games in. Here is what transpired in week 3:
 
Recaps have been written by members of the rumours committee
 
Mamluks v AbbasidsWeek 3 kicked off with the Abbasids hosting the Mamluks on Birchwood 1. After a wonky defensive effort in week 2, the Mamluks picked up right where they left off with additional mental errors in the first inning. The Abbasids capitalized in the very first inning, putting up a 7 spot. The Abbasids came out super charged, looking to finally enter the win column, and took advantage of every mistake possible by placing hits wherever possible. Nearly the entire team was in on the attack in the first inning, which had them feeling good, setting the tone for the rest of the game. The Abbasids also featured a new looked defense which shifted Ahmad Hussain to first base, Atif Akhtar to shortstop, and Sameer Rafique to the outfield with his cannon of an arm. This seemed to have work as the Mamluks struggled to gain any momentum, as the Abbasid defense, including catches from Ahmad Butt held the Mamluks clawing and scraping for all they could get. However, as the game progressed, Rizvan Merchant began to settle in, including a strikeout which helped keep the struggling Mamluk bats in the game. The green machine was having trouble stringing together hits until Yasser Zia belted a homer, trying to rejuvenate the team by doing his best "Let's go Mamluks - this is why we're here" song and dance. It certainly got them on the board, but the team continued to sputter, only able to add a run or two per inning until Baseer Yasseen came up in the top of the 7th with the tying and go ahead run on base, which he promptly brought home to secure a narrow victory for the Mamluks.
Final Score: Mamluks - 9, Abbasids - 8;     Star of the Game - Baseer Yasseen, 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBIs
 
Ayyubids v Sultans: The Sultans came into this Sunday missing 3 of their top players and requesting a league exception to field the minimum. Kudos to the boys for toughing it out on a hot sweltering Sunday when they could easily sat back on their patios. The Ayyubids however had no mercy on the stallions as they started off the game with 3 consecutive mercy innings (not sure that has ever happened). The Sultan outfielders looked helpless as the 3 of them tried to run all over the place. By the third inning, the Ayyubids were up 21-3 and well on their way to a mercy game. Homeruns by Jibran Khan and Ali Jabbar were the dagger at the end. Shahzad Ahmed's BSL pitching debut couldn't have started any worse. He did hit a HR to release his frustration. Mohamed Kala impressed with a perfect 4-4 with 4 RBIs. 
Final Score: Ayyubids - 22, Sultans - 5;      Star of the Game - Mohamed Kala, 4-4, 4 RBIs
 
Abbasids v Ayyubids: The Abbasids came into this game having blown a 1 run game while the Ayyubids mercied the Sultans earlier in the day. The Abbasids once again jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first before the Ayyubids struck back in the 2nd on a Hassan Zubair double and a Faheem Kotwal 2 RBI double. Over the next 3 innings, the Abbasids would only get 1 hit and in the 5th the Ayyubids blew it open with back to back homeruns from Ahmad Ammad and Imran Merchant. The Abbasids would finally wake up and score 3 runs of their own to make it 10-7. In the top of the 7th, Zia Beg and Zayd Ramjaun would get on-base to lead off the inning but the top of the Abbasids order went 1-2-3 after that to end the game. The Ayyubids pull off another tight victory while the Abbasids once again fail to come through in the clutch. The Ayyubids go to a league leading 5-1 while the Abbasids falter to 0-6 with their playoff hopes on the line next week. 
Final Score: Abbasids - 8, Ayyubids - 10;      Star of the Game - Imran Merchant, 3-3, HR
 
Mamluks v Sultans: This matchup had the Sultans and Mamluks square off for the second time this season in a rematch from week 1. The Sultans however, looked very different on this scorching hot day missing the likes of half of their team. This moved superstar Shahzad Ahmad to pitcher for the matchup. Shazzy was welcoming every batter with a warm smile, wave and "Please try to not hit this". For a while it even seemed to work to a certain extent as the Sultans jumped out to an early lead thanks to the bat of Hassan Chaudhary and Khizer Channa. However, the Sultans and their lovable teddy bear on the mound were unable to keep it up, resulting in a string of hits, left, right and center, including back to back triples off the bats of Yoo-Choo and Salman Ahmad. Many of the other Mamluk hitters got on base multiple times, including Taher Mirza who had 4 hits in the game, as they eventually put it out of reach. At the end of the game, their was speculation that surfaced suggesting the Sultans shortened their bench in order to prevent the Mamluks, a potential playoff opponent, from getting too many looks at the team at full strength. Thus many players were away, including Shamil Khadaroo who is away abroad, apparently learning different batting styles from the best English cricketers.        
Final Score: Mamluks - 14, Sultans -  5;      Star of the Game - Yousaf Chaudhry, 2-3, 3B, 3 RBIs
 
Seljuqs v Nasrids: The Seljuqs and the Nasrids battled it out on a warm sunny day in the crisp fields known as Birchwood Park. The Seljuqs have been coming off a lacklustre start to the 2018 season and showed up early to hit the practice field for over an hour in the heat. However, it was the Nasrids that came out to play, racking up 6 runs in the first two innings. There was no looking back, as even though the Seljuqs managed to make it close at 6-5 during the 3rd, the game was blown wide open with homeruns from Osman Buttar and Mr. Latif. The Seljuqs woes piled up with consistent errors in the field and a weak batting performance overall. The game ended in an 11-6 win by the Nasrids who seemed ready to take on anyone in their path.
Final Score: Seljuqs - 8, Nasrids - 15;      Star of the Game - Asim Waheed, 3-4, 2 RBIs
 
Ottomans v Mughals: The Mughals and Ottomans renewed their rivalry in week 3 on BW2. The Mughals were without a few top players while the Ottomans had a late addition to get them to almost a full roster. The Ottomans started with a bang with Hammad Afif hitting a 3 run shot to give the Ottomans a 4-0 lead. The Mughals would cut the lead down to 2 on a 3 run homerun but the next inning would break their back. The Mughals had a ton of uncharacteristic errors which caught up to them. The Ottomans took advantage by putting up a 7 run inning capped off by an Owais Ansari 2 run Homerun. The Mughals responded with an Ismail Akhter HR but the Mughals were no match for the Ottomans on this day. They put up crooked numbers in every inning but one and coasted to victory. The Mughals looked deflated from the start while the Ottomans zen session before the games seemed to have rejuvenated the squad. 
Final Score: Ottomans - 22, Mughals - 11;     Star of the Game - Hammad Afif, 3-4, HR, 6 RBIs
 
Seljuqs v Ottomans: The Ottomans and Seljuqs squared off in the final game of the evening on Birchwood 1, and gave another example of how strong the parody is in BSL 2018.  The Ottomans, sitting at 4-1 on the year came into the game riding a high from their game 1 victory against the Mughals earlier in the day, while the Seljuqs were coming off another subpar effort at the hands of the Nasrids to drop their record to 1-4.  So the momentum was with the Ottomans right? UMMMMMM…NO! 
The Seljuqs came out of the gate playing small ball perfectly, and scored 3 runs before making a single out.  They would finish the top of the first with 4 runs in total, on zero extra base hits.  Being behind early however is kind of the Ottomans thing this year, and once again it didn’t seem to phase them as they struck for 2 runs of their own off a 2-Run HR by Rehan Ahmad.
The top of the second inning saw the Seljuqs score another 5 runs on a comedy of errors by the Ottomans.  Giving the Seljuqs three extra outs that inning would prove to be costly in the end. 
With the score 9-2 heading into the bottom of the 3rd, Owais Ansari hit his second 3-run HR on the day, and the Ottomans scored 4 to get themselves back in the game at 9-6.  Not to be out done, the Seljuqs answered with another 2 runs in the top of the 4th. In the bottom of the 5th inning the Ottomans responded with another 4 run inning, bringing the score to 11-10 Seljuqs heading into the final inning.
Hamza Waheed who showed a lot of maturity on the mound, started to bend but unlike past games did not break.  The Ottomans would put the go ahead run on first base with the heart of their lineup at the plate, but were unable to cash them in, with Hamza recording the final out himself.
The Seljuqs put the league on notice, showing that they will not roll over this season.  They relied on their energy and finally acted like the youngest team in the league, outlasting the Ottomans.  The Seljuqs seem to be on the right track, and have shown great chemistry communicating and picking each other up even after making errors.  Shoaib Gaya finished with 3 RBI, and Umair Jabbar added 3 hits in the victory.
The Ottomans on the other hand, have only been consistent being inconsistent, and will have to figure out a way to finish strong as both their losses this season have come on the tail end of double headers. Their hitting has seemed to vanish in game twos.  If you subtracted the 4 hits Mohsin Zubair got, the Ottomans only hit .276 in the game.  However, even with this performance the Ottomans finished the weekend in 2nd place.
Final Score: Seljuqs - 11, Ottomans - 10;      Star of the Game -  Shoaib Gaya 2-4, 3 RBIs
 
Mughals v Nasrids: The Nasrids came into their second game looking for the season sweep of the Mughals. The Mughals took an early 2-0 lead but their offense went silent for the next 3 innings. The Nasrids found their rhythm and put up 13 unanswered runs capped off by an Usama Mahmood hit a 3 run shot to give the Nasrids a comfortable lead. The Nasrids were in full control of this game and were ready to head home with the sweep. That was when an emotion peptalk before the 5th inning woke up the Mughals from their slumber. Mughals would scrape together 5 runs in the 5th, 1 run in the 6th and with two outs in the 7th down by 3, Atif Pervaiz hit a 2 run double to put them within 1. GM Zahid Merchant came up with the tying run on 3rd and hit a flyball right at the Nasrids RFer but GM Nirvaan Latif called him off only to drop the ball allowing the tying run to score. The Nasrids were shellshocked but had one last chance to seal the deal. With two outs, runner on 3rd, Osman Buttar up. Usually that would be a lock to end the game but Osman flyed out to the SS to end the game. The Mughals pulled off a remarkable comeback after being down 13-2. The Mughals steal a point where they had no business and the Nasrids drop a point when they should be 2-0. That point could be crucial come end of the season. 
Final Score: Mughals - 13, Nasrids - 13;     Star of the Game - Ibrahim Sardar, 3-3, 2 RBIs; Riyad Ramjaun 3-4, 4 RBIs