The Bucks only played one game this week against the surging Lions who beat them for only their 2nd loss of the season. Still, with a comfortable lead atop the standings, the widely touted best hitter in the league, Ali Raza Nasser, did struggle going 0-2 this week.
Munir Nasser, who had a couple of breakout games last week didn’t show up this week to recover, but a very welcomed appearance by Aman Nasser was a surprise as he went 1-2 in only his 6th and 7th at-bat this season.
This week the Bucks will be hoping to show the rest of the league that their early season success was not a fluke and if guys like Kabir Molu continue to tear it up the way he has been (went 3-3 this week with 2 runs scored and now holds the 2nd highest average on the team) – the Bucks can afford a few weeks off from their batting leader Nadim Rahemtulla who will be off again this week.
A 1-and-done for the Eagles this week and good for them for surviving two weeks without Ali Manek – but coming up badly short going 0-3 in his absence.
The Eagles jumped off to a great start vs Asad Nasser and the Owls, putting up 5 runs in the 1st inning. But as has been the case in the past, once Asad Nasser starts trash talking Abbasali Kermalli, it always seems to flip in favour of Asad and the Owls. Abbas, who went 1-3 in the loss this week, has been off to a 2nd straight terrible start to a JMS season boasting a .357 average and now has the 2nd lowest average of 1st Round Draft Picks (ahead of only Moe Abdalla). It was around this time that Abbas got it going last season and the Eagles are hoping it’s not too little too late for them as they have been dropping in the standings quickly.
Some bright spots for the Eagles is that Abbas Allidina seems to have got his groove back going 2-3 in the loss, getting his average up to .280. However, he may have sparked a trend as 5 different players on the squad got RBIs for the team. Abbas Allidina, Ray Noormohamed, Hasnain Kara, Hussein Champsi, and Aqil Najafi all picked up key hits for the team against the Owls and accounted for each of the Eagles 5 runs.
We’re going to be watching to see if this part of the lineup can get it rolling and help the league’s worst offence (64 runs scored) finish the season the way they started – Since going 4-0 to start the season, they are now 5-4 and will need contributions from every part of their lineup.
The Falcons finally picked up their 2nd win of the season but it had nothing to do with attendance as they were still without 4 of their players including Raheel Rawjani who has 8 at-bats all season. But a much needed win indeed for the squad that has really yet to find its footing on the diamond.
The come-from-behind victory was dramatic, to say the least, and everyone on the team, except last season’s batting champion Imtiyaz Kara, got a hit. (Imtiyaz went 0-4 in the win and 2-7 on the day)
Aadil Jaffer dominated going 2-3 with two big RBIs to lead the team. He continued his tear into the 2nd game finishing the day 4-6 with 4 RBIs – his first RBIs this season. He also laced a triple in the loss to the Lions picking up 2 RBIs of only 4 allowed by the Lions.
Riaz Champsi was finally back on the mound for the Falcons and although he did exceptionally well in game one throwing 2 strikeouts, 34 pitches for strikes and allowing 6 Earned Runs, he also hit well going 3-4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. And although he did score 2 runs in game two as well, he totally fell off the mound allowing 20 Earned Runs in a blowout mercy victory for the Lions.
This week started off looking like it was going to be easy pickings for the Lions who won by getting a mercy over the Falcons to start the day. They moved on to hand the Bucks only their 2nd loss of the seasons but then we unable to get past the Owls in their 3rd game of the day.
Player of the Week honours went to Asad Hussain and deservedly so. The start to his season was relatively slow by the standard he has set for himself but he showed again this week why he is always an MVP candidate and the best player the league has ever had. With 3 home runs and 13 RBIs on an 8-for-11 day, he has climbed atop almost every offensive category in the league.
Ali Kara has also started to contribute in a big way for the Lions picking up 5 huge hits this week and now has one less hit than Muhammad A. and Salman Jiwan combined. However, the bigger story here is that if the Lions have found a way to make Ali Kara a threat, then this team literally has no holes especially after the coup-d’état in landing the 2nd overall draft pick, Miqdad Jaffer. (Miqdad went 6-for-12 with 3 RBIs this week.
This week, we are going to have our eyes on Hussein Jiwan who started the day on fire going 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs but then slowed down finishing the day 5-for-9 but his 6 RBIs were 2nd highest on the team this week. If Hussein Jiwan can put up numbers like these, then this team is going into the final weeks as the best team in the league.
The Owls needed to rebound quickly after a devastating 17-1 loss to the hottest team in the league, the Tigers, on Friday night. And they did exactly that as they came into Sunday dominating their games going 2-0 against the Eagles and the hard-hitting Lions.
The best part about the two wins this week for the Owls is that captain Kumail Meghani only played a small role and it really was a team effort. Almost every Owl got a hit with the exception of Hassan Abbas Kara who went 0-for-7.
Shane Nasser was having a great day at the plate going 5-for-6 in the two wins with an RBI and 2 runs scored as he now leads the team in batting average, OBP, and is 2nd in slugging. It’s expected that he will be here for the rest of the season and good timing as his 13 at-bats might be too small of a sample size to know if he’s going to be able to maintain the hot start.
1st round pick, Irfahn Khimji is certainly proving his worth now as he went 3-for-6 with a massive triple and 3 runs scored in the two victories. He has now leapt above many of his teammates with a batting average of .552 however with only 3 RBIs on the season, we might see some lineup adjustments going into this week to try to give him a chance to be a run producer.
One of the most exciting stories this week was Abbas Fazal who got his 2nd career home run this week and won player of the game honours in the big win against the Lions. Although Abbas is hitting below his career average of .550, he is still in that range this season and this week added to that going 5-for-7 with 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored.
We have to hold our breath because the Tigers are ON FIRE. Winners of their last 4, the Tigers are the hottest team in JMS and they are doing it in dramatic fashion. They absolutely annihilated the Owls 17-1 on Friday night and then beat the Wolves twice to close out their weekend with a total score of 26-15.
Mahmood Kara is now 3rd in the JMS for batting average after dominating the opposition going 10-11 in the three games. And that level of play is clearly contagious as almost every player on the Tigers squad, with one very noticeable exception being Azmatali Mehrali, got a hit in the three games this weekend.
Bobby Bharwani went 5-for-8 this weekend with 6 RBIs to up his season average to .500 to put him at 4th on his team. Umair Ali dominated this week with a massive grand slam against Mikael Ratansi and the Wolves. He finished the weekend 8-for-10 with 8 huge RBIs leading the team to victory.
Nabeel Naqvi is the guy we are watching this week as he had a great weekend going 6-for-10 with 4 RBIs and 7 Runs scored. The hottest team in the league might have developed Naqvi’s game into one where he can create runs for the team and unlike some of the others who may have just had a hot weekend, Naqvi is currently 3rd in the league in at-bats.
Even though the Wolves lost all three games this weekend and sit with a record of 3-7, they are still the team no one wants to face in the playoffs. On Sunday they lost two games by a total of 4 runs and made a total of 8 errors in their three losses.
Said Samater had a great day on Sunday going 5-for-8 driving in 2 runs to bring his season average up to .407. But the Wolves traditionally draft players with massive upsides and currently they boast a lineup with more rookies than anyone else in the league.
Said and fellow rookie Alla Al-Salem, who is batting a respectable .429, are starting to show signs of why they were selected to this squad. However, some of the other rookies, like Abid Kara and Kaunain Taki are struggling as they sit at the bottom of the team in average. And while Abid has 8 hits so far this season, the team really does need its experienced guys to start leading the way as both Samir Damani and 1st round pick Muzammil Jaffer have been disappointing with a combined 14 hits all season.