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Week 9 (Super Sunday) Recap

Super Sunday passed with plenty of drama. A walkoff to secure a playoffs spot, an 8 man team securing a top seed and plenty of Osmow's for everyone. The regular season is now complete. Thank you to the Abbasids and the Seljuqs for a fantastic 2018 season. Both teams played with great brotherhood and we hope to see them again next season.

Here is what transpired in Week 9. [note: recaps have been written by members of the rumours committee]

Mughals v Nasrids: Super Sunday started off with a huge matchup with big playoff implications pitting the Mughals vs. the Nasrids on Birchwood 1.  Both teams would clinch a playoff spot with a win so this had that playoff energy right at the get go.  The Mughals entered the game shorthanded (as usual) missing Ismail “I’d rather wear Mickey ears” Akhtar, while the Nasrids, although had the majority of their players present, were missing the long flowy hairs of both MVP candidate Osman Buttar and Ibrahim Sardar.  The Mughals started off strong putting up 8 runs in the first 4 innings before the Nasrids could even get 1 back.  Pitching sensation Zahid Merchant was locked in from the get go and held the Nasrids bat’s to only the single run through 5 innings, while utility man Riyad Ramjaun played exceptional at SS again to ensure any potential comeback by the Nasrids was always halted.  The Mughals defense (both IF and OF) was extremely strong as they came away with a 10-3 victory and a birth to September.  Meanwhile on Birchwood 2, the Seljuqs would lose which would also clinch a playoff birth for the Nasrids.  Although both teams will play in September, the Nasrids could be in tough as they were only able to put up 3 run against a depleted Mughals team.  The Mughals on the other hand, enter September on a high.  With perennial all stars Ismail and Nadeem Hussein expected to return, the Mughals could be clicking at the right time.
Final Score: Mughals - 10, Nasrids - 3;    
Star of the Game - Zahid Merchant, 2-3, 3 Earned Runs
 
Seljuqs v Sultans: Funny how things work out sometimes. The schedule overlords bestowed a beauty on the league this past Sunday. With the very first game on BW2 sealing the playoff fate of multiple teams, nails were chewed off, nerves were fragile and stress-related sweats were on full display. Under the assumption that their star pitcher, ‘The Unbelievable’ AK, was going to miss the game, the Sultans Board of Directors was scrambling to come up with what their best option would be having tried out multiple players at the position.  At the 11th hour (literally just before the game) GM Shamil ‘The Mauritian Marvel’ Khadaroo told AGM ‘Shaky’ Shahzad Ahmed that the ball would be in his hands. Having no time to prepare, he took the mound and the results were what you would expect…a mercy inning.  The game started with the entire Seljuks side batting. Giving up a walk to ‘The Maniacal’ Michael Arlitt to start and then a hit to Zain ‘The Kangaroo’ Khilji and a shot to Omer ‘The Thrill’ Dhaduk, the AGM really let his team down but was determined to not let that result repeat in following innings.  Turns out he didn’t have to worry. Through what looked like a mirage, an image appeared in the distance, gliding towards the diamond.  As the form began to take shape, you could hear the chiming of a bell.  Was it a Dickie Dee vendor bringing ice cream to the BSLers on this scorcher of a day?  NO, IT WAS AK!!!  Coming through on his bike for his squad when it needed him the most, AK stretched, threw and took care of business. 
The Sultans bats were a little down after the horrendous first inning and were taking their sweet time getting up, seemingly hitting the snooze button multiple times. The Seljuks were keeping JUST out of range with some well-timed hits from Rameez ‘Sneaky’ Siddiqui and a dinger from ‘Speedy’ Saqib Khokhar and hoping their defence would be able to win them this game after building an 11-4 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning.  Two crucial things then occurred…Umair ‘The Jinx’ Jabbar was overheard yelling encouragement at his team along with the message that the Sultans had no bats.  This led to the appearance of Shaheen ‘The Lunatic’ Limbada; taking the message personally, punting the team bucket of balls and lighting a fire under his squad made the difference in this game.  The Stallions dropped their first touchdown inning of the game, led by Faisal ‘Clutch’ Khan and his bases clearing single, to tie it up 11-11 going into the final inning. The top of the 7th led to a zero spot from the Bulls as Kamil ‘’Krillin’ Haider went Super Saiyyan and put the defense on his shouders. Exclusive excerpts obtained by The BSL Bugle from Mississauga’s next city council meeting agenda have revealed that along with taxes, transportation and education, there needs to be a conversation about Kamil for Gold Glove. With the side putting up zero, the path was cleared for the Steeds to take the game.  A tie would have resulted in the rest of the league having to try for the rest of the day, while a W would cement who was going to the playoffs. Enter, Omer ‘The People’s Champion’ Chaudhry. After a brief pre-game back and forth on Facebook between Omer and pitcher Hamza ‘The Wizard’ Waheed, in which they both pre-emptively apologized for the other’s upcoming loss, this moment was how it had to end. Hamza with his glove in front of his face, Omer glancing at what the defense was giving him, approaching the plate, Hamza unwinding BOOM…walkoff, celebration, playoff teams settled. Final score: Sultans 13, Seljuks 11. Now the Mustangs move on to Game 2 to see if they can climb the standings and end up in 2nd place with a bye for the first round of the playoffs…
Final Score: Seljuqs - 11, Sultans - 13;      Star of the Game - Omer Chaudhry, 2-4, Walkoff HR
 
Nasrids v Ottomans: The Nasrids squared off against the Ottomans for the second week in a row, looking to duplicate their week 8 results and stun the Turks once again.  While there was a lot on the line in regards to playoff implications, the energy from both teams were missing at the start, with only 1 run being scored over the first 2 frames.  The Ottomans were finally able to break through with 7 runs over the third and fourth innings.  Furhan Azmat, who was questionable to play due to an injury, had a perfect day at the plate going 3 for 3 with and RBI.  Mohsin Zubair was welcomed back to the Ottomans lead off position and contributed with 2 hits and 2 rbi’s as well.  Unfortunately, not much positive can be said about the Nasrids play, as they looked lethargic all game.  Asim Gauhar was the only player to have a multi-hit game for the Spaniards, who finished the game going 8 for 30 (.267 BA).  Osman Buttar instantly regretted cutting his Samson like hair, and the league all wondered who his Delilah was that betrayed him.  The hair cut shook Nirvaan Latif so much so that not a single “Oh Yeah, Baby!!” was heard all game.  While the Nasrids didn’t help themselves at the plate, credit must be given also to Tanseer Khawaja who only allowed 2 earned runs in the contest, and kept the ball in the park against a team that scored 13 runs off him the week before.
Final Score: Nasrids - 3, Ottomans - 8;      
Star of the Game -  Tanseer Khawaja, 2-3, 2 Earned Runs
 
Sultans v Mughals: Both teams were high coming off huge victories that locked up a playoff spot for each team. The Mughals and Sultans came into this game with a chance to set themselves up for a #2 with a bye depending on what happened in the evening games. The game started off with a bang as Shahzad Ahmed hit a two run shot to start the game. Faraaz Alvi replied in the bottom with a 2 run dinger of his own. Both teams were swinging for the fences as they combined for a total of 11 homeruns. The Sultans would break a BSL record for 7 homeruns in a game. The game was evenly poised going into the 6th inning when the Sultans blew it open on a Omer Chaudhry 3-run shot to give them the lead for good. The Mughals didn't have enough firepower as they we missed a key bat in the lineup and the Sultans made a statement on Super Sunday with a sweep to take them from 6th to 2nd in the standings.
Final Score: Sultans - 13, Mughals - 8;      
Star of the Game - Kamil Haider, 4-4, 2B
 
Ayyubids v Mamluks:  The latter matches of super Sunday featured the Mamluks and Ayyubids on Birchwood 1. Both teams had sown up playoff spots, but were also playing for seeding. The Ayyubids, who had held the top spot in the league for much of the season were now fighting for a bye, as the Green Machine looked to secure the top rank of the season. However, the Mamluks were missing numerous players, which forced them to play with 8, and feature a funky defense. The Ayyubids were quick to respond to said funky defense, hitting 3 longballs in the first 2 innings, to take an 8-0 lead. Umair Sheikh was having himself a game, but the Mamluks rebounded, showing great poise and composure to put up a 7 spot in the bottom of the 2nd. Continuing to channel their inner Kansas City of 2015, the Mamluks continued to play small ball, getting on base and keeping the chain moving and building a comfortable 17-9 lead. The Ayyubids did challenge and put of a tremendous fight, scoring 6 in the 5th, but were unable to mount any comeback, as the Mamluks were able to clinch first place. 
Final Score: Ayyubids - 16, Mamluks - 17;    
 Star of the Game -  Rizvan Merchant, 4-5, 2B, 4 RBIs
 
Abbasids v Seljuqs: The Seljuqs and Abbasids played their last game of the season, and the last game of their year at birchwood 2. Although the Abbasids had been aware of their fate for some time, the Seljuqs had just come off a gut-wrenching loss at the hands of the Sultans to be kicked out of playoff contention. With an hour and a half break in between, the Bulls just moped around eating plates of chicken on the rocks to soothe their pain. The game began with both teams finding something to play for - a first victory of the season for the Abbasids, and not being the first victims of the season to the Abbasids. Both teams came out and scored some runs in the early innings, including back to back home runs by the GM-AGM Suljuq combo of Umair Jabbar and Omer Dhaduk. The game blew open in the bottom of the 4th with the Seljuqs expanding their lead. The Abbasids had one last push and scored a couple of runs in the top of the 7th, however Hamza Waheed stayed calm and collected to get the W. The Abbasids still had one more game remaining but even with the victory, this wrapped up a disappointing season for the Bulls.
Final Score: Abbasids - 13, Seljuqs - 15;    
Star of the Game - Omer Dhaduk, 3-3, HR, 3 RBIs
 
Abbasids v Mamluks: The Abbasids came into their final game of the season hoping to avoid the infamy of being the first BSL team to finish the season without a win and this final opportunity came against the first place Mamluks.  Both teams were missing key players as the Abbasids were without first overall pick Sameer Rafique while the Mamluks came in without Jibran Khan, W K and Sheraz Bhai.  The Abbasids started off well but mistakes on the basepaths hurt their rally with a runner being called out for taking a leadoff – an example of the mental mistakes that hurt them all season.  After three innings the game was tied up at 5-5 with the Abbasids looking like they could steam this game and they had to be motivated with Rehan Ahmed of the Ottomans affirming that his promise to buy the team pizza would stand even though it was not possible for his team to take first place anymore.  Going into the bottom of the fifth the game was tied up at 6-6 but in a reoccurring theme for the Lions the wheels fell off as the Mamluks put up seven runs to take a commanding 13-6 lead into the final inning.  With their back against the wall and now a crowd building with the Ottomans/Ayyubids game finished the Abbasids took their final turn at the plate and much to the glee of the crowd scored seven runs to tie the game up at 13-13.  With runners on base Bilal Javed came up with a chance to give his team the lead but he was not able to convert – a rare occurrence this season as he has been one of top performers for the Abbasids.  With the game tied going into the bottom of the inning the Mamluks got runners on base but had a potential winner thrown out at home by Abbasid shortstop Atif Akhtar.  With the Abbasids hoping to escape with a tie up to the plate stepped Aamir Husainy and with the pressure on he calmly hammered a ball to the left field fence to give the Mamluks a walkoff win to end the season.  The win did nothing to change the standings but denied the Abbasids a chance to end the season with a win and they now own the dubious distinction of being the only BSL team to go a full season without winning a game.
Final Score: Abbasids - 13, Mamluks - 14;      
Star of the Game -  Aamir Husainy, 3-6, Walkoff double
 
Ottomans v Ayyubids: The Ottomans were high coming off a huge victory over the Nasrids in their previous game. The Ayyubids, on the other hand, squandered their chance at a bye by losing to a severely depleted Mamluks in their first game. The Ottomans carried their momentum from the previous and got off to a hot start scoring three quick runs thanks to Rehan Ahmed’s first of two home runs. The Ayyubids didn't let that phase them as they rallied with four of their in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-3 lead. They followed the first inning with a 2-run second and 3-run third courtesy of homeruns by Jibran Khan and Umer Jabbar respectively. The Ottomans were unable to muster much offense as they were held scoreless for five out of the remaining six innings. The only other runs coming in the fourth inning highlighted by another Rehan Ahmed moonshot. 9-5 is the closest the Ottomans would come as the Ayyubids added 8 insurance runs with their final two innings of at bats to solidify the win. Ahmad Ammad was the star of the game as he capped off the Ayyubids 7-run sixth by leading off the inning with a solo shot and ending the mercy inning with his second homerun of the inning. Crazy, right? No pun intended. Ahmad’s two home runs also won him the home run title with two less at bats. A great pitching performance from Ali Jabbar handcuffed the Ottomans who were unable to come up with crucial hits across the lineup. 17-5was the final score in favour of the Ayyubids, who continue their inconsistent season as they solidify third place and setup a match-up against the Nasrids in the playoffs. Things look to get interesting in the playoffs.
Final Score: Ottomans - 5, Ayyubids - 17;    
Star of the Game - Jibran Khan, 4-4, HR, 3 RBIs