x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Johnson takes a magnificent seven

A seven-wicket haul from Australia left-armer Mitchell Johnson turns the second day of the first Test against South Africa on its head.

PERTH // A seven-wicket haul from Australia left-armer Mitchell Johnson turned the second day of the first Test against South Africa on its head in an incredible, topsy-turvy final session at the WACA. The tourists were cruising after tea on 234 for three in response to Australia's 375, with half-centurions Jacques Kallis (63) and AB de Villiers looking in control and well set to take the tourists towards a sizeable total.

But the loss of De Villiers, caught behind by Brad Haddin off Johnson for 63 set in motion a remarkable train of events with Johnson claiming five for two in 21 balls, as the Proteas were reduced to 243 for eight at stumps. Kallis followed in Johnson's next over before debutant JP Duminy (1) also departed, caught by Haddin as he gloved a ball down the legside. Morne Morkel made one before becoming the next of Johnson's victims in the penultimate over of the day, with the paceman also claiming Paul Harris (0) for good measure, both batsmen being caught by Jason Krejza.

Johnson finished the day with seven for 42, his best bowling figures and his second five-wicket haul after taking five for 38 against New Zealand last month. After Proteas' opener Neil McKenzie had become Johnson's first scalp with a dreadful shot that he skied directly to Krejza, the South Africa skipper Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla added 90 before Krejza produced a stunning ball to remove Amla for 47.

Krejza, brought back on against the breeze once it blew up, flighted a delivery to Amla, getting it to turn wickedly off the deck and slip through the gate as Amla attempted to drive, taking out the batsman's off-stump. Smith then played on to a Johnson delivery for 48, but Kallis and De Villiers then put on 124 for the fourth wicket. But having established what appeared to be a solid base, De Villiers fell to Johnson, sparking the massive collapse.

Earlier, Krejza (30 not out) and Peter Siddle (23) had frustrated the tourists as they put on 34 for the final wicket, before Siddle was caught by Boucher off Makhaya Ntini. * PA Sport