Green shines to power Mumbai IPL closer to IPL crown
Cameron Green has chosen the perfect time to unveil his full repertoire of allround brilliance, excelling with the bat, ball and in the field as Mumbai Indians motored ever closer to the IPL final.
But even the Australian allrounder was happy to play a supporting role to a remarkable spell of pace bowling by teammate Akash Madhwal, who delivered astonishing figures of 5-5 as the Indians crushed Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL 'eliminator' by 81 runs in Chennai on Wednesday.
There was, though, only disappointment for Green's fellow countryman Marcus Stoinis, whose best efforts to emerge as the top Aussie allrounder for Lucknow were ended in accident-prone fashion with a careless run-out.
It was Green's dazzling hundred which had propelled Mumbai into the knockout stages of the event at the last gasp at the weekend, and the 23-year-old once again looked for every cent like the "three-and-a-quarter million dollar man" that the five-time winners had invested so lavishly in.
First, coming in at No.3, he set Mumbai on their way with a brisk 41 off 23 balls, featuring six fours and one murderous pull for six over square leg, before he was bowled by Naveen-ul-Haq, who did most to restrict Mumbai to 8-182 after they'd elected to bat.
Then Green produced three excellent overs that went for just 15 and was unlucky not to prise Stoinis out with the first ball he bowled to him as the Lucknow batter got away with a horrible skyed miscue that just evaded an slow-starting fielder.
Stoinis took advantage of the reprieve to move to 40 off 27 balls and looked to be the Super Giants' last hope as wickers tumbled around him.
But he was guilty of ball-watching when going for a second run and getting run out at the striker's end after bumping mid-wicket into his partner Deepak Hooda.
Green, who'd earlier taken a catch, then produced two terrifically sharp pieces of ground fielding to help ensure the calamitous run-outs of Krishnappa Gowtham and Hooda.
Then Madhwal, who'd struck in just the second over to remove Prerak Mankad, dismissed Ayush Badoni and Nicholas Pooran in successive balls in the 10th over, and sealed the game by bowling Mohsin Khan to finish with the best figures by any bowler in this edition of the IPL.
"Madhwal has been the game changer for us; five today, and got four-for the other day. He has been awesome. The moment he came, we realised he is special," said an admiring Green.
He wasn't the only Australian providing significant contributions for Mumbai, who'll next face defending champions Gujarat Titans on Friday with the winners advancing to Sunday's final against Chennai Super Kings.
Opening bowler, left-armer Jason Behrendorff, took 0-21 off his three overs while Tim David scored a one-a-ball 13, took a catch and pulled off a run-out.