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BPL round-up: Riders take up final playoff spot, Charles shows off his big hits

Khulna Tigers, Chattogram Challengers and Dhaka Dominators are out of the tournament with eight matches left in the league phase

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Johnson Charles' unbeaten 107 helped Comilla Victorians chase down 211, Khulna Tigers vs Comilla Victorians, BPL 2023, Sylhet, January 31, 2023

Johnson Charles scored an unbeaten 107 off 56 against Khulna Tigers  •  BCB

A round-up of the fourth week of BPL 2022-23, when the playoffs line-up was confirmed

Rangpur take final spot

Following their two-wicket win against Dhaka Dominators, Rangpur Riders became the last team to make it to the BPL's playoffs. Captain Nurul Hasan played a captain's knock, promoting himself to No. 4 and scoring 61 off 33, but the side also survived a late batting collapse to get to the win.
But Rangpur's confirmation also means that the other three teams - Khulna Tigers, Chattogram Challengers and Dhaka - are all out of the tournament with eight matches left in the league phase. There's been a clear gulf between the top four and the bottom three teams this season. The four teams that have qualified - Rangpur, Comilla, Barishal and Sylhet - have shown consistency. They picked the right combination when building their teams, and have followed up with mostly consistent selection calls during the tournament.
Chattogram and Khulna, meanwhile, could never replicate the success they had last season. Khulna lost four games in a row to bow out of the competition. Dhaka have won just three out of 11 games.

Dearth of newcomers

There have been five debutants in this BPL season. Among those, Ashiqur Zaman (Victorians) is the only player who is part of the top four teams. But he hasn't made a splash, and neither have the other debutants - Abdullah Al Mamun, Nahid Rana, Khawaja Nafey and Habibur Rahman Sohan.
None among the four has played more than three matches, although Rana and Mamun are likely to feature in the remaining matches for Khulna and Dhaka respectively. However, Rana and Ashiqur have impressed Allan Donald, Bangladesh's fast bowling coach, during a recent camp, while Mamun was the NCL's Player-of-the-Tournament this season. Nafey is from Pakistan, but he has built a big-hitting reputation in the Karachi circuit.

Batter of the week: Johnson Charles

Johnson Charles vs Khulna Tigers lit up the BPL this week. First, he slammed five sixes in his 22-ball 39 on January 28, before laying into them with a 56-ball unbeaten 107. This innings had eleven sixes and five fours as he powered Victorians to a record-breaking highest chase in the BPL. But this wasn't Charles' first century in the BPL. Five years ago, he hit his first century, coincidentally against Comilla, when he made 105 off 63 balls.

Bowler of the week: Azmatullah Omarzai

It has been a productive week for Azmatullah Omarzai who has become an important player for Riders. The Afghanistan allrounder has been lethal with the new ball. Among all the BPL bowlers this season, he has the most wickets in the powerplay. Omarzai has not broken through yet in the T20 franchise world like his compatriots, but his new-ball chops and big-hitting ability make him a marked man for franchises around the world.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84