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Johnson inspires Australia to win

First Test, Johannesburg (day five, close):
Australia 466 & 207 bt South Africa 220 & 291 by 162 runs
Match scorecard



Australia celebrate another Johnson wicket
Australia celebrate another Johnson wicket in Johannesburg

Mitchell Johnson led a fine performance by Australia's seam attack as the tourists secured a 162-run win over South Africa in the first Test.

The hosts had been set a record 454 for victory in Johannesburg but hopes faded soon after Hashim Amla fell to Peter Siddle for 57 an hour into play.

Jacques Kallis played on soon after and with Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Johnson on form, wickets fell regularly.

Man-of-the-match Johnson wrapped up the Proteas innings for 291 soon after tea.

It was the perfect start to the series for an inexperienced Australia side containing three new caps, having succumbed to South Africa at home in December.

Johnson was the inspiration, taking 4-112 to finish with match figures of 8-137 to add to his 96 not out with the bat in Australia's first innings.

He received excellent support from fellow seamers Siddle (3-46), Hilfenhaus (2-68) and Andrew McDonald (1-31), who all applied relentless pressure on the South African batsmen.

606: DEBATE
slowie

The writing was on the wall for the tourists when Amla clipped Siddle to midwicket, ending a determined stand between him and Kallis that had lasted over an hour in the morning session.

First-innings century-maker AB de Villiers made only three before he was trapped leg before by the persistent medium-pacer McDonald, and the key breakthrough came in the third over with the second new ball when Kallis was bowled off an inside edge by Johnson for 45.

In Johnson's previous over, Kallis was given out by umpire Billy Bowden but Kallis asked for a referral and was reprieved by television umpire Asad Rauf because the ball pitched marginally outside leg stump.

The hosts opted for all-out defence thereafter, with JP Duminy and Mark Boucher surviving for more than 20 overs before Duminy was caught at second slip off Siddle for 29.

Morne Morkel was then caught off a weak pull shot for the second time in the match, giving Johnson his third wicket of the innings, before Boucher was bowled off an inside edge by Hilfenhaus for 24.

Paul Harris followed soon after before Johnson wrapped up the win by bowling Dale Steyn.

We'll celebrate tonight but then it's time to look forward to the next Test

Mitchell Johnson

South Africa will hope to bounce back in the second Test, which gets under way on Friday in Durban, but Johnson warned Australia will again be on their mettle.

"We'll celebrate tonight but then it's time to look forward to the next Test," he said. "This is right up there with my best Test.

"The bowlers started to click as a unit when we won (the recent third and final test against South Africa) in Sydney and we're a tight-knit group. I'm very excited about this group."

And Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes his side are starting to show their true form, saying: "We rectified most of the errors we made in the home series this week.

"I think we had the worst of the batting conditions, but it was a good team effort. We have now won the last two Tests against South Africa - this team is bouncing back."

Ponting's counterpart Graeme Smith, meanwhile, questioned his side's desire after the defeat: "In the first couple of days we got too far behind - 466 was too much for Australia in the first innings.

"We didnt reach the levels we did in the last two years. Australia were hungry and we did not match that.

"We know we can improve a lot on this performance. We want to play better in Durban. We let ourselves down here."

Meanwhile, all-rounder Albie Morkel, brother of Morne, will replace injured fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe in South Africa's 12-man squad for the second Test, which starts in Durban on Friday.

The 27-year-old was man of the series when South Africa's 4-1 win in the one-day series in Australia in January.



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see also
Smith against TV referral system
02 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Australia open huge lead over SA
28 Feb 09 |  Cricket
S Africa recover after North ton
27 Feb 09 |  Cricket
North stakes claim for Test place
22 Feb 09 |  Australia
Prince left out of S Africa squad
11 Feb 09 |  South Africa


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