Johnson joins Oz's 300 club

2015-07-30 12:54
Mitchell Johnson (AP)

Birmingham - Mitchell Johnson became just the fifth Australia bowler to take 300 Test wickets as he hauled his side back into the third Ashes Test against England at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Left-arm fast bowler Johnson had started the match on 299 wickets but met with no success in his five overs on Wednesday's first day at Edgbaston after Australia had collapsed to 136 all out.

But his third ball on Thursday saw Johnson to the 300 mark with a superb lifting delivery that recalled England batsman Jonny Bairstow, averaging over 100 in county cricket this season, could only fend off the glove to wicket-keeper Peter Nevill for five.

Two balls later, Johnson had his 301st Test wicket as a similar delivery had all-rounder Ben Stokes caught behind for a duck.

Johnson had taken two wickets for no runs in three balls, with England now 142 for five - just nine runs in front.

Only leg-spin great Shane Warne and fast bowlers Glenn McGrath, Dennis Lillee and Brett Lee had previously taken 300 Test wickets for Australia.

Johnson's 69-Test career has not been one of uninterrupted progress, with the 33-year-old mocked mercilessly by visiting fans when he lost control of both line and length during England's 2010/11 Ashes series win in Australia.

But it was a very different story in 2013/14 when he took 37 wickets at under 14 apiece as Australia regained the Ashes with a 5-0 rout of their arch-rivals.

However, that didn't stop England fans making Johnson their 'pantomime villain' of choice when he conceded 111 runs without taking a wicket in the first innings of Australia's 169-run defeat in the first Test of the current series in Cardiff.

Johnson, however, showed signs of this best form during this month's second Test at Lord's where he led Australia's pace attack in a 405-run thrashing of England that levelled the five-match contest at 1-1 ahead of the Edgbaston clash.

Australia bowlers with 300 or more Test wickets (total Test wickets, bowler):

708 - Shane Warne

563 - Glenn McGrath

355 - Dennis Lillee

310 - Brett Lee

301 - Mitchell Johnson

Note: Johnson's tally as at his dismissal of Stokes.

Read more on:    ashes  |  mitchell johnson  |  cricket

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