Johnson takes Sri Lanka to the cleaners
Fierce bowling from a revitalised Mitchell Johnson powered Australia to victory by an innings and 201 runs over Sri Lanka in a Boxing Day Test that ended inside two and a half days at the MCG.
Johnson - after being stranded eight short of a second Test century earlier in the day when Australia were dismissed for 460 in reply to Sri Lanka's first-innings 156 - captured 2-16 from eight overs, injured two top-order batsmen and affected a run-out as the tourists were skittled for 103.
Sri Lanka had lost seven wickets midway through day three's second session and, with Prasanna Jayawardene and Chanaka Welagedara unable to bat plus Kumar Sangakkara not returning having retired hurt on 27, the game was over.
The trouncing meant Australia retained the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy ahead of the third and final fixture in Sydney next week.
Johnson's brilliant second-innings effort capped a remarkable Test for the 31-year-old, who scored 19 of the hosts’ 20 runs today.
The left-armer claimed 4-63 - including his 200th victim - in Sri Lanka's first innings ahead of boosting his reputation as a lower-order batsman.
Light showers delayed the start of play today by 15 minutes before the loss of Nathan Lyon, caught at short midwicket off Angelo Mathews, and Jackson Bird, comprehensively bowled by Shaminda Eranga for a duck. Eranga and Dhammika Prasad each took three wickets.
Sri Lanka could hardly have replied any worse as Johnson and debutant Bird dismantled their flaky top order. The tourists dramatically slumped to 13 for four midway through the morning session.
Johnson started the rot with the run-out of Dimuth Karunaratne in the first over, via David Warner’s throw, and removed Tillakaratne Dilshan next ball when Ed Cowan held on at square-leg.
Bird, who returned 2-29, made matters worse when he bowled Mahela Jayawardene for a duck and trapped Thilan Samaraweera lbw just before lunch.
Only Sangakkara and Mathews provided meaningful resistance and, when the former retired hurt after taking a blow to the index finger from a Johnson bouncer, the match was in its death throes.
Once Johnson bowled Mathews for 35, Peter Siddle wrapped up the win by removing Eranga for a duck via a simple short-leg catch.
Johnson took man-of-the-match honours ahead of Australia captain Michael Clarke, who scored 106. Shane Watson was another major contributor for the winners with a gutsy 83, but the all-rounder was unable to bowl in the second innings and is a doubt for the third Test after aggravating a chronic calf injury.