Green's season-best knock supports Kohli masterpiece

Cameron Green has played an impressive support role to yet another Virat Kohli IPL masterclass, but the Australian's cameo looks set to be too little too late for the charging Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

While Kohli plundered 92 off just 47 balls at the top of the RCB order in their must-win clash against Punjab Kings in Dharamsala, allrounder Green then enjoyed his best knock of the season, clattering 46 off 27 to propel his side to an imposing 7-241 off their 20 overs.

It was far too imposing, indeed, for the Kings, who never threatened the total as they succumbed to a 60-run defeat in Friday's clash, being bowled out for 181 in 17 overs to end their chances in this year's event.

Green hits
Green smashes a boundary in his late-innings 46 which helped RCB set an imposing total. (AP PHOTO)

Despite a fourth win in a row, RCB are seventh in the table and it's still a long shot for them to make the playoffs, with Kohli admitting ruefully: "I have to be honest, we were not good enough in the first half of the tournament.

"We got to a point where we said, 'don't look at the table, play for self-respect'. Make yourselves proud and the fans. We need to raise our level. If we had done so earlier we would be in a position needing to rely on so many factors to qualify."

The underwhelming contributions of their two Australian allrounders has not helped either, with Glenn Maxwell again consigned to the bench after a wretched campaign in which he took a break mid-tournament following a run of single-figure scores.

Green, after his high-profile signing from Mumbai, had hardly set the tournament alight either, but his 46 was his best score in the 2024 edition in nine innings. It featured five fours and a six before he was caught on the boundary while slogging the last ball of the innings trying to complete his 50.

It provided just the impetus RCB had required after Kohli had extended his lead in the race for the 'orange cap' as the leading run-scorer for the season with a spectacular outing - albeit one in which he was dropped twice - that took his total to 634 at an average of 70.44.

Kohli, who knows his run-rate of 153.51 has to be improved amid the increasingly dizzying scores being set in the league, this time clouted six sixes that demonstrated the great man is prepared to take more risks in the ever-evolving IPL slugathons.

Green was taken out of the attack swiftly after his one over was hit for 16 but once Rilee Rossouw was dismissed for 61 off 27 balls, the Punjab innings soon subsided, with Mohammed Siraj leading the way with his 3-43 off his four overs.