There can be only one winner of this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week award. Mitchell Johnson continued from where he left off in the Ashes by dismantling world number ones South Africa in the opening Test in Centurion.
The left-arm (very) quick returned career-best match figures of 12 for 127 as South Africa were dismissed for 206 and 200 to lose by 281 runs. He took seven for 68 to help Australia earn a 191-run first innings lead following centuries from the returning Shaun Marsh and Steve Smith as only AB de Villiers prospered for the Proteas with 91.
David Warner then smashed 115 and debutant Alex Doolan contributed 89 as Australia set their hosts 482 in the fourth innings. Johnson ensured that they didn’t get close and would be defeated inside four days by taking five for 59.
Since being recalled to Australia’s Test side for the start of the Ashes series in November last year, Johnson has now taken 49 wickets in six matches at the incredible average of 13.14.
Away from Centurion, and Bangladesh fought hard in their two-match Twenty20 International series before losing. Kushal Perera’s half-century outdid Anamul Haque’s in the opening match to earn Sri Lanka a two-run win, while Thisara Perera hit 35 not out off 28 balls to give the tourists victory off the final ball in the second match. Nuwan Kulasekara was the pick of Sri Lanka’s bowlers across the two matches with figures of two for 29 and two for 32.
In Wellington, the ongoing second Test between India and New Zealand saw the latter routed for 192 on day one as Ishant Sharma (6-51) and Mohammad Shami (4-70) shared the wickets. Ajinkya Rahane then hit 118 and Shikhar Dhawan 98 as India replied with 438. Brendon McCullum then closed day three on 114 in New Zealand’s second innings, but his best was, of course, yet to come.
© Cricket World 2014