Johnson's six wickets lead Bulls to Pura Cup victory
Mitchell Johnson did not get to bat in Queensland's 6 for 900 declared, but he made sure he left a mark on the Pura Cup final with a six wicket-haul and ten for the match as the Bulls won by an innings and 354 runs
Mitchell Johnson did not get to bat in Queensland's 6 for 900 declared, but he made sure he left a huge mark on the Pura Cup final with a six wicket-haul and ten for the match as the Bulls won by an innings and 354 runs. Needing a massive 556 to make Queensland bat again, Victoria were dismissed before tea for 202 to give the Bulls their sixth domestic first-class trophy with the biggest margin of victory in a final.
The Bushrangers resumed at 2 for 38 in the hope that pride would guide them through the day and achieve an honourable draw. Johnson, who removed both openers late on day four, upset their plans with 6 for 51 and match figures of 10 for 106 to confirm his status as one of the country's leading bowling prospects.
"What a performance on a flat wicket - ten wickets," Maher, the Man of the Match, told AAP. "How he didn't get Man of the Match is beyond me. What you saw today was a massive turning point."
Brad Hodge was Johnson's third victim, caught by Ashley Noffke in the gully for 28, and Johnson returned to rip into the lower order by removing Jon Moss (13), Nathan Pilon (8) and Shane Harwood (3) to make sure of the outright victory. The legspinner Daniel Doran, who picked up 3 for 33, struck with his first ball to hit David Hussey's off stump on 37 and he also knocked over Cameron White before finishing with the top scorer Nick Jewell for 69.
The last wicket was left to Andy Bichel, who forced Dirk Nannes to hit to Lachlan Stevens at short leg for his 50th of the season, and sent the Queenslanders into a celebration they have been planning from the dressing room for days. "They ran into a Queensland side that was hungrier than you've ever seen," Maher said. "The last side that was this hungry was in 1994-95 and we'd never won it then."
The Bulls drove to their mammoth total on a lifeless pitch with centuries to Jimmy Maher (223), Shane Watson (201), Clint Perren (173) and Martin Love (169) in a performance the home players will remember for decades. The loss was Victoria's worst defeat in their 115-year first-class history. "It definitely hurts," Cameron White, the Victoria captain, said.