De­part­ing John­son strikes twice in drawn Perth Test

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

PERTH: The sec­ond test be­tween Aus­tralia and New Zealand fiz­zled out in a draw yes­ter­day but not be­fore Mitchell John­son gave one last re­minder of his bowl­ing prow­ess on the day he an­nounced his re­tire­ment from in­ter­na­tional cricket. New Zealand’s pur­suit of 321 runs for vic­tory in 48 overs al­ready looked un­likely to suc­ceed but af­ter rain cut 90 min­utes out of the fifth and fi­nal day at the WACA, the spoils were des­tined to be shared.

The tourists had made 104 for two when bad light brought an end to the game, leav­ing Aus­tralia 1-0 up in the se­ries go­ing into the third test in Ade­laide cour­tesy of their 208-run win in Brisbane last week.

John­son, who made his an­nounce­ment be­fore the start of play, sum­moned up two last bounc­ers to dis­miss both New Zealand open­ers and was chaired off the pitch by his team mates.

“They were the sort of wick­ets I’ve been get­ting for the last couple of years, I really wanted to rip a couple in and the body let me do it,” said John­son, who fin­ished with fig­ures of 2-20.

“There is a fair bit of emo­tion when the boys picked me up. It has been great. I have really en­joyed my­self. I can walk off and be proud of my ca­reer.”

Aus­tralia skip­per Steve Smith had de­clared for the fourth time in four in­nings in the se­ries an hour be­fore tea af­ter the hosts had made 385-7. An un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally docile WACA pitch had al­lowed bats­men from both sides to show­case their skills in a run-fest of a match over the first four days.

A dou­ble cen­tury from David Warner spurred Aus­tralia to 559-9 in their first in­nings and 290 from Ross Tay­lor helped New Zealand to 624 in re­ply, a lead of 65 runs.

Tay­lor, who fin­ished un­beaten on 36 in the sec­ond in­nings along­side New Zealand’s other bat­ting hero Kane Wil­liamson (32 not out), was named Man of the Match.

GUARD OF HON­OUR Cen­turies from Smith and Adam Vo­ges in the last two ses­sions on Mon­day put Aus­tralia back in front but the runs fi­nally stopped flow­ing so freely on Tues­day morn­ing.

Smith (138), Mitchell Marsh (1) and Adam Vo­ges (119) all de­parted in an open­ing ses­sion in which Aus­tralia were only able to add 73 runs to their overnight tally of 258 for two.

John­son was wel­comed by a guard of hon­our of ap­plaud­ing New Zealan­ders when he came out to the crease and il­lus­trated his bat­ting skills with a bright 29 from 45 balls. The 34-year-old was the first of the two bats­men to depart caught be­hind off Tim Southee (4-97) af­ter lunch with Peter Nevill (35) fol­low­ing him back to the dress­ing room. It was not too long be­fore Smith’s loud whis­tle called Mitchell Starc (28 not out) and Josh Ha­zle­wood (2 not out) in to get ready to take the new ball. John­son led the Aus­tralians back onto the pitch on his 73rd and fi­nal test and had bowled eight de­liv­er­ies with­out con­ced­ing a run be­fore the rain forced an early tea.

He re­sumed af­ter the de­lay and soon sent Tom Latham (15) back to the dress­ing room af­ter an at­tempted hook ended up in the hands of Josh Ha­zle­wood at long leg.

Martin Gup­till (17) was John­son’s 313th and fi­nal test vic­tim when a fast ris­ing de­liv­ery saw him spoon the ball to Joe Burns at short leg. “It was a really good game of cricket,” said New Zealand cap­tain Bren­don McCul­lum. “Both teams showed a lot of re­solve. Ade­laide is go­ing to be a whole new chal­lenge. We showed some fight and we’re happy to fin­ish up here from where we started.” — Reuters

PERTH: New Zealand’s Tim Southee bowls a de­liv­ery against Aus­tralia dur­ing their cricket test match in Perth, Aus­tralia, yes­ter­day. — AP

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