16 Feb 2014

Johnson destroys South Africans to win Test opener

11:45 am on 16 February 2014

A career-best performance from Mitchell Johnson has lifted the Australian cricketers to a 281-run victory over South Africa in just four days in the opening match of the three-Test series in Centurion.

The hosts were rolled for 200 chasing 482 for victory as Johnson drew blood, rattled skulls and snatched five second innings wickets, his match figures of 12-127 breaking all manner of records.

It was the 32-year-old's best Test match figures, the greatest Test match figures at Centurion, and the best effort by an Australian against South Africa since Clarrie Grimmett captured 13 wickets in 1936.

The left-armer was at his brutal best as the Proteas slumped to their largest Test loss against Australia, discounting results by a margin of an innings, since a 530-run defeat at the MCG over 100 years ago.

Johnson, continuing the frightening form that netted figures of seven for 68 in the first innings, was simply irrepressible.

The second test starts in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.