Rajshahi and Chattogram enter playoffs, Sylhet have a dry run at home

Lack of big names continue to affect attendance at the Bangladesh Premier League

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Afif Hossain has been among the runs almost each time he has walked out  •  Raton Gomes/BCB

Afif Hossain has been among the runs almost each time he has walked out  •  Raton Gomes/BCB

The BPL went to Sylhet for three days, and home side Sylhet Thunder lost three evenings in a row. There were some exciting matches, some of them saw decent turnouts, but lack of big names has continued to affect attendance. Here's a look at the fourth week of the tournament.
Rajshahi, Chattogram confirm playoff berths
Rajshahi Royals' convincing wins over Rangpur Rangers and Sylhet helped them book a place in the playoffs with six days in hand, while Chattogram Challengers, with their six-wicket win over Khulna Tigers, also cemented their spot in the final four.
Andre Russell's fitness situation, however, should worry Rajshahi - he has missed their last two games because of an injury. Chattogram, too, have their captain Mahmudullah on the injury list, but both of them are likely to return to action in Dhaka after January 7.
Who will join Chattogram and Rajshahi in the playoffs is the question now. Dhaka Platoon are in third place and look primed to get there, but Khulna losing their last two games has given Cumilla Warriors, whose fourth win was after the Super Over against Sylhet, some hope. Rangpur are also not out of the race completely - they must win their remaining games and hope for other results to go their way.
Where are the promised legspinners?
Alok Kapali's six wickets at an average of 21.83 is the best by a legspinner in the BPL so far. That speaks volume of the veteran's fitness and desire, but is also a comment on the BCB's stance of leggies.
Months ahead of this year's BPL, board president Nazmul Hassan had stressed that all teams must field legspinners, as well as genuine fast bowlers. The BCB had also spoken about promoting young legspinners Aminul Islam, Rishad Hossain and Minhajul Abedin Afridi, while Jubair Hossain, who last played for Bangladesh five years ago, was also given a BPL team. But of them, only Aminul has picked up any wickets - two - taken two wickets while Afridi and Rishad have bowled three overs between them; Jubair hasn't played a single game yet.
Batsman of the week
Afif Hossain and Liton Das have formed the BPL's most prolific partnership this season, putting together six 50-plus opening partnerships for Rajshahi. They are by far the best batting pair, with the next best - Khulna's Mushfiqur Rahim and Rilee Rossouw - 152 runs behind them.
Afif and Liton have added 432 runs in nine innings so far, both looking in prime form. Afif in particular has looked like someone the Bangladesh selectors can bank on in the upcoming T20Is against Pakistan.
Bowler of the week
Hasan Mahmud became the fourth Bangladeshi pace bowler to pick up a four-wicket haul in this season's BPL as his 4 for 32 worked through Khulna in Sylhet. It was a superb bowling performance from the youngster who is touted for big things by many scouts and coaches in Bangladesh.
The highlights of the 20-year-old performance against Khulna were the deliveries to remove Rossouw and Robbie Frylinck. Against the left-handed Rossouw, Mahmud got the ball to jump off a fullish length and catch the outside edge. He then got the ball to swerve in quickly to bowl Frylinck. The four-for was in the bag when he took the prized wicket of Mushfiqur with a low full-toss.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84