South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 4th day

A fast-bowling high against South Africa

Mitchell Johnson's match haul of 12 for 127 are the best by a fast bowler against South Africa since their readmission into Test cricket

S Rajesh

February 15, 2014

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Mitchell Johnson continued his blistering form, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 2nd day, February 13, 2014
Mitchell Johnson's 12 wickets in the match was the first such haul by an Australian fast bowler since Bruce Reid's 12 for 126 against India in 1991 © Associated Press
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  • The margin of victory - 281 runs - is Australia's second-best in terms of runs against South Africa. The best is 530 runs way back in 1911.

  • The defeat is South Africa's second in 19 Tests in Centurion, and their first in a proper, two-innings Test: their previous defeat had been against England in 2000, in a Test in which both teams had forfeited an innings each.

  • Before this Test, South Africa had a 14-1 win-loss record at this venue. Not only was this their best venue, it was the most dominant that any team had been at any venue in Test history; the next best were Pakistan in Karachi, where they had won 21 Tests and lost twice. Before this Test, South Africa had averaged 43.15 with the bat and 24.19 with the ball at SuperSport Park; in this game, they averaged 20.30 with the bat, and 49.07 with the ball.

  • South Africa's batting average of 20.30 in this Test is easily their lowest in Centurion, and their sixth-lowest in a home Test since their readmission. In matches when they've won the toss during this period, this is their third-lowest. The lowest is 17.30, against India in the Boxing Day Test of 2010, when they were bowled out for 131 and 215.

  • Australia's emphatic victory was almost entirely due to Mitchell Johnson, whose match figures of 12 for 127 are his best, and the third time he has taken ten or more in a Test. His second-best match haul is also against South Africa - 11 for 159 in Perth - but Australia had lost that Test by six wickets. Since the beginning of the 2013-14 Ashes series, Johnson has taken 49 wickets in six Tests at an average of 13.14. The fewest wickets he has taken in a Test during this period is six.

  • Johnson's match haul of 12 for 127 is the best by a fast bowler against South Africa since their readmission into Test cricket. The previous best was Matthew Hoggard's 12 for 205 in Johannesburg in 2005. Among all bowlers during this period, only Muttiah Muralitharan has better figures - 13 for 171 in Galle in 2000. Shane Warne took 12 for 128 in Sydney in 1994.

  • Among Australian bowlers, only Clarrie Grimmett has taken more wickets in a Test against South Africa. He took more than 12 twice - 13 for 173 in Durban in 1936, and 14 for 199 in Adelaide in 1932.

  • Johnson's 12-wicket match haul is the first by a fast bowler in a Test in more than eight years: the last time it happened was in September 2005, when Irfan Pathan took 12 for 126 against Zimbabwe in Harare. The last Australian fast bowler to achieve this feat was Bruce Reid, who also took 12 for 126, against India in Melbourne in 1991.

  • Against South Africa's top six batsmen, Johnson took eight wickets conceding 101 runs, an average of 12.62 runs per wicket. The other Australian bowlers had figures of 4 for 176 against South Africa's top six, an average of 44 runs per dismissal.

  • In the second innings too, the one top-order batsman from South Africa who handled the Australian attack comfortably was AB de Villiers. Not only did he top-score with 48, he also had an in-control percentage of 97, the highest among all South African batsmen. Over the entire match, de Villiers had an in-control percentage of 95; for the other South African top six batsmen, the control percentage was 85%.

  • Hashim Amla scored only 52 runs in the Test, but it was enough to make him the sixth South African batsman to go past 6000 Test runs. He achieved it in his 128th innings, thus equalling the South African record, which he now shares with Graeme Smith. Jacques Kallis achieved it in his 134th innings. (Click here for the full list of batsmen who've reached the landmark in the fewest innings.)

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Posted by David_Bofinger on (February 16, 2014, 23:53 GMT)

South Africa scored 20/406, average score per innings 203. Take out Johnson's 12/127 and they managed 349 which is good but hardly great. By comparison Australia's effective average was something like 430 (depending on what value you put on 4 wickets down). So there was a significant difference between the teams even without Johnson.

Amazing to hear Smith say the pitch favoured Johnson and things will be better on a spinner's pitch in Port Elizabeth. Perhaps true, but who would have imagined a few weeks ago that the team with Philander, Steyn and Morkel, and a spinner probably less capable than the undismissable Lyon, would be looking forward to a spinner's pitch?

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 16, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

@supacricfan During our worst period in cricket for ages we tied SA in SA, we lost 1-0 to SA at home but the first 2 are well known stories, the first a day got washed out or we'd have won it and the second Pattinson got injured and our whole seam attack was changed for the last test which we lost. We beat SL in SL as well. The 3-0 in England was much closer than just saying 3-0, if anything we lost 3-0 to Ian Bell (he was brilliant in that series), but the rest weren't particularly good. The only REAL drubbing was the 4-0 in India. We certainly got smashed there. We also had Glenn Maxwell, Xavier Doherty, Matthew Wade who should never ever be playing test cricket. Maxwell is a truly horrid test inclusion, and Wade makes absolutely no sense even without Haddin because Tim Paine should definitely be ahead of Wade in selection. Way ahead. No contest. So for a team that completely sucked, it wasn't THAT bad. Your lot were getting whitewashed with your dream team.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

@S.Jagernath on (February 16, 2014, 11:05 GMT). "Australia can prepare their choice of pitch also,they prefer greentops against India & that's fine."

I think you'll find that Australian pitches have had traditional characteristics since long before India started touring here. We dont "prefer greentops against India". Any team that tours here gets the same conditions, with the only variable being the more recent inevitable drop-in pitches that have somewhat dulled the traditional characteristics of each ground.

In fact, I'd put it to you that the variance in our pitches has been the worst secret of the Aus team success over the long term. Maybe if your BCCI insisted on preparing a variety of pitches at your own venues, then India would have a better chance to winning away from home as well.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

India has never a test series in Australia,Australia has won in India. Australia in India will be tough for Aussies but it will be tougher for Indians in Australia.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

The comments posted by 'Mirandola' brings out the abject dislike for India as a nation . Yes India is playing terribly overseas agreed. But then most of the cricketing nations are lions at home . There are a few aberrations though for the Mitch Lillee driven Aussies who can claim to be otherwise . So that leaves a single nation who can successfully win overseas . Thus India which is on a rebuilding trait with a 'Handful of performers' are pretty good contrary to the comments of Mr Mirandola.

Posted by supacricfan on (February 16, 2014, 12:22 GMT)

hope u havent forgotten the drubbings aus recieved in the last few years..most recent being 4-0 n 3-0..just a series victory n u r talking as if u are the world beaters..its a known fact that just a single bowler is the result of their recent success..am sure knowing his history he is going to break out soon..can they even read a doosra..ur youngsters are as talented as fish is out of water..INDIA is the power house..get over ur jealousy guyz..lol!!

Posted by mirandola on (February 16, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

@ Adoh - absolutely correct, and it can't be said too often, particularly since one-eyed Indian supporters dominate the comments on this site. All these 'fans' can see is 'India, India, India' - they don't seem able to comprehend that the rest of the world isn't all that interested in them and certainly doesn't want every single board taken over by their comments which generally have nothing to do with the subject being discussed. India has a couple of decent players and can usually hold their own on their own pitches, anything else and they struggle. (Witness their abysmal performances against New Zealand, hardly a cricketing power-house). There are boards discussing Indian cricket - why not stay on them and give us others a bit of a rest?

Posted by S.Jagernath on (February 16, 2014, 11:05 GMT)

The fact is Mitchell Johnson enjoys dry sufaces with pace & bounce with very little or no lateral movement.The surface prepared favoured him & the Australian batsmen.They still had to play well to take the advantage though.About this India-Australia nonsense.India has the right to prepare surfaces that favour their brand of cricket,they are by no means flat surfaces,they just offer traditional seam bowlers less.If you have reverse swing & the ability to use the uneveness of the surfaces to get seam movement,a seamer will do well.Spinners love it,very few batsmen from other parts of the world do though.Australia can prepare their choice of pitch also,they prefer greentops against India & that's fine.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 10:08 GMT)

Congrats to Aus, from a SA supporter. Great win as the stats proves. MJ truly is in phenomenal form and currently Steyn's bowling doesn't come close. Aus should enjoy riding on the back of these performances and pray that MJ can sustain it because the rest of the attack was shown to be ordinary. Once again, well done Aus and MJ.

Posted by Adoh on (February 16, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

Once again the Indian fans make everything about them. So, while we're on the subject, let's talk about Indian cricket. Nobody from first world countries cares that mud tracks win games for the Indian cricket team. We're talking here about sublime fast bowling. I've been watching cricket for a long time and I cannot recall an Indian fast bowler of any note. The question is why. The answer is the BCCIs obsession with mud tracks that simply cannot develop fast bowlers. The root cause is the simple minded Indian cricket fans who erroneously think cricket there to entertain them. Hence the creation of the IPL. Cricket is so much more, well, it used to be before the BCCI stuffed it up.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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