Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13 February 18, 2013

Rajshahi's luck, and Gayle's sizzling ton

Chris Gayle's stunning century and Duronto Rajshahi's good fortune feature among the highlights of the fourth week of the Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13

A look back at the highs and lows from the fourth week of the Bangladesh Premier League

The sixth gear
When Chris Gayle was on 27 off 29 balls, Dhaka Gladiators were meandering towards a below-par total in the Race to the Final game against Sylhet Royals. Then, he stunningly changed gears by going after Suhrawadi Shuvo. The 23 runs he took from the left-arm spinner took him to 55 off 36 balls. With Gayle about to face two more overs of part-timers, there lay a sixth gear in waiting.

And on queue he went after Paul Stirling and Nazmul Hossain Milon, the latter being taken for 29 runs. Gayle moved from 55 to 100 in just 10 balls, helping himself to six sixes and making a mockery of the bowlers.

The lucky losers
Before they were finally eliminated from the BPL, Duronto Rajshahi hadn't won a game for eleven days. That would look unfair to a team like Barisal Burners, who fought right till the end, but Rajshahi progressed through to the knockout stages on virtue of head-to-head results rather than net run-rate. Their initial good results had saved them, but it was a campaign that was not a happy one for them.

Coach Khaled Mashud urged the franchise to become more professional if the tournament organisers aren't keeping an eye on matters like payment and players' accommodation.

The forgotten hero
Mohammad Ashraful's maiden Twenty20 century gave his career an uplift it badly needed.

This unbeaten 103 was his first century shown on television in more than three years, after an ODI hundred against Zimbabwe in August 2009. He has scored runs sporadically, but these are the sort of runs that had defined the old, free-flowing Ashraful. This could be a one-off too, but having returned after being on the brink of getting axed from his regional team, he would like to keep this form going.

The fun captain
For all the trouble in the BPL, there have been moments of enjoyment for the players. During the Burners' last match, their captain Brad Hodge decided to have a bit of fun. He tried to imitate Hamid Hassan's serious bowler face, and his bowling action. Later, when Nazmul Islam took a wicket, he chased the left-arm spinner around the team huddle. It looked amusing from a distance, but one couldn't be sure whether Nazmul was scared or not.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent