The Abbasids beat the Mamluks 25-17 in the BSL Final yesterday en route to the franchise's first title. The game itself was a back and forth affair for the most part. The Abbasids put up a small ball 6-runs to open the game, only to have the Mamluks put up five of their own thanks to a 3-run shot by GM Hassan Chaudhry and a solo shot by Saqib Khokhar. The Abbasids had another big inning in the top of the fourth, putting up six thanks to a three-run shot by Sameer Rafique. The Mamluks chipped away at the Lions six-run lead, and only found themselves down one run, 18-17, after seven.
However, what makes the BSL Finals the BSL Finals is that we play a full nine innings. We all know what happened in the "extra" innings last year - would we get more fireworks in the eighth and ninth this year? Yes. Yes we would.
The Abbasids blew the game open with a 7-run mercy inning in the top of the eighth thanks to some more small ball, the turning point of which featured a 2-run single by Sameer Rafique with the bases loaded. The Lions kept the Mamluks at bay and got the remaining six outs without giving up a run to seal the deal.
This was a historicy moment for the League, as we had our first non-bye team ever win the title. The moment was extra special for GM Bilal Javed, AGM Sameer Rafique, Atif Akhar, Ahmed Butt and Zayd Ramjaun - five guys who were on the Abbasids squad that made history for all the wrong reasons last year after failing to win a single game.
The champion was the third for Zahid Merchant (2014, 2017); the second for Yousaf Chaudhry (2017), Mohamed Kala (2016) and the aforementioned Akhtar (2014) and Javed (2017); and the first for Butt, Rafique, Ramjaun, Jav Ahmed, Ahmad Ammad, Arshad Chawdhry and Hamid Malik. Congratulations!