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Sublime Johnson sinks Proteas

The venomous bowling of Mitchell Johnson helped Australia secure a comprehensive 281-run victory over South Africa with a day to spare in the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

Johnson, who took seven wickets in the first innings and five in the second for an impressive match haul of 12-127, was the clear man of the match against the world’s number-one Test team.

The Proteas had no real answer to the pace and bounce of Johnson, with only AB de Villiers managing to get among the runs for the home side. He scored 91 in the first innings and 48 in the second.

Michael Clarke was quick to make his declaration on day four, Shaun Marsh’s dismissal prompting the Australia captain to put the Proteas in to chase 482.

But Johnson removed openers Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith inside the first four overs, with Peter Siddle castling Francois du Plessis before Ryan Harris made Hashim Amla his first victim of the match.

Johnson quickly got rid of JP Duminy and Ryan McLaren for his 10th and 11th wickets, de Villiers becoming his 12th victim when driving a cutter to Steve Smith at short cover.

Siddle then had Robin Peterson fooled with a grubber and, after Harris removed Steyn with a length ball, Morne Morkel was run out for a single run to bring the match to premature conclusion.