Johnson signs off with two wickets in draw
Australia 9 for 559 dec (Warner 253, Khawaja 121) and 7 for 385 dec (Smith 138, Voges 119, Southee 4-97) drew with New Zealand 624 (Taylor 290, Williamson 166, Starc 4-119) and 2 for 104 (Johnson 2-20)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
There was no fairytale finish for Mitchell Johnson, but it was satisfying all the same. Johnson's final acts in Test cricket were to take two wickets in the last session as New Zealand's batsmen played out a draw, but it was a result that meant Australia retained the Trans-Tasman Trophy after their win in the first Test in Brisbane. Johnson departed from Test cricket to the cheers of his adopted home crowd, with 313 Test victims to his name.
The WACA is a venue where Johnson has previously taken clumps of wickets quickly, sometimes late in the day, but New Zealand began the final session with all ten wickets in hand. Not even Johnson at his peak could have run through them in just one session, especially when bad light forced an early end to proceedings. Set an unlikely 321 to win from a minimum 48 overs, New Zealand finished at 2 for 104 from just 28.
Their first-innings centurions, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, were at the crease to prevent the kind of ridiculous collapse that would have been required to precipitate a result in this, the fourth-highest scoring of the 400 Tests that have ever been played in Australia. Taylor finished unbeaten on 36 and Williamson was on 32, having come together after Johnson turned back the years with two wickets from short balls that stirred the crowd.
First, Johnson dug one in to Tom Latham at 147.1kph; it wasn't a genuine bouncer, but it was short enough to tempt Latham into a hook, which he top-edged and saw caught by Josh Hazlewood at fine-leg. That wicket took Johnson past Zaheer Khan and into third position on the all-time list of Test wicket takers among left-arm fast bowlers, with only Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas ahead.
The second wicket was even more reminiscent of Johnson in his pomp. Martin Guptill had no answer to the accurate bouncer, he could not evade, he could not play it cleanly, all he could do was fend, and the ball lobbed off his gloves to short leg, where Joe Burns took a good catch low to the ground moving forward. It would be Johnson's last in Test cricket; he finished with 2 for 20 from his six overs, a cameo, but a memorable one.
The result was the first drawn WACA Test in ten years, the high-scoring match entertaining enough but not the kind of contest the ground has been famous for providing. Steven Smith also continued to show himself to be a more conservative captain than his predecessor; it was only his fifth Test as captain of Australia but he has already led Australia to more draws at home - three - than Michael Clarke did in his entire captaincy career.
Smith was in no mood to provide New Zealand with a generous target, saving his declaration until he was certain Australia could not be beaten. Had New Zealand been able to face their full allotment of 48 overs, they would have needed to score at more than a run a ball to win the Test; on a wearing fifth-day pitch and with no field restrictions in place, that was as likely as Johnson changing his mind and playing on in the day-night Test in Adelaide.
A draw had been the most likely scenario all day, but Australia began the morning with centurions Smith and Adam Voges at the crease and had they scored their runs quickly they might have been able to declare sooner and make more of a game of it. New Zealand, of course, knew that their best chance of victory was to run through the Australians and take the declaration decision out of Smith's hands.
As it happened, neither of those things happened. New Zealand bowled well, perhaps better than they had at any time in the series, but they had to settle for just three wickets before lunch. That Australia lost both Smith and Voges while still wanting another hundred-odd runs to set New Zealand a target meant that the innings petered out, and with it the chances of a result.
New Zealand had managed only one maiden on the first day of this match but on the fifth day so many dots started to accrue that the scorecard looked like a piece of pointillist art. Australia faced 175 dot balls on the final day before Smith finaly declared with just an hour left until tea. Australia were 7 for 385 when he called in his batsmen, Mitchell Starc on 28 and Josh Hazlewood on 2, with the injured Usman Khawaja not having been required to bat.
Australia added 73 runs during a slow-moving first session and then 54 in the second. Trent Boult struck the first blow when he nipped one away from Smith, who edged behind for 138, having added only seven to his overnight score. Mitchell Marsh failed to take the opportunity for some time in the middle when he was lbw for 1 to a ball moving in from Doug Bracewell, who was the best of New Zealand's bowlers but managed just the one wicket.
Tim Southee claimed the other when he had Voges trapped lbw for 119, umpire Nigel Llong's decision upheld after Voges asked half-heartedly for a review. That brought Johnson to the crease through a guard of honour formed by the New Zealand players, a poignant moment, on an emotional day for Johnson and his family. As he did with the ball, Johnson provided a cameo with the bat, striking five fours in his 29 from 45 balls.
Johnson's innings ended when he edged behind trying to pull Southee, and Peter Nevill was the last man to fall when he too edged behind off Southee for 35. From there, Australia knew they could not realistically lose, but Johnson ensured there were at least a couple more moments to cherish in the final session.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale