Soon after South African quick Dale Steyn joined the 400-club earlier in the day, Australia speedster Mitchell Johnson picked up his 300th wicket on Day 2 of the third Ashes Test against England in Birmingham. His 300th victim was Jonny Bairstow in the first session of the day's play.
Johnson became the fifth Aussie bowler in the history of cricket to achieve this milestone. The four bowlers who achieved this feat before him were Dennis Lillee (355), Shane Warne (708), Glenn McGrath (563) and Brett Lee (310). He just needs 10 more scalps to become the fourth highest Australian wicket taker of all time. Johnson also became the 12th cricketer in the history of the game to score 2,000 runs and add 300 scalps to his name.
Johnson was called to bowl in the early hours of the day at Edgbaston by skipper Michael Clarke and he did not disappoint his captain. He picked up two wickets in the same over to dismiss Bairstow and Ben Stokes to leave England struggling at 142 for a loss of five wickets.
The player was responsible for England's whitewash in the last Ashes series Down Under. He bowled with serious pace and bounce to rattle the English batting order. Keeping in mind his records in the Ashes, Clarke did not hesitate to throw the ball at him.
The two wickets that he got on Thursday were both from two short-pitch deliveries. And they were so viciously close that both the English batsmen struggled to keep the bat away from the ball. The overcast conditions in Birmingham helped him generate enough movement off the deck to unsettle the batsmen.
Later, Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon came in and picked up three wickets in his first three overs. That helped Australia to continue their fightback after they were bundled for a meagre total of 136 runs in the first innings, thanks to a brilliant show of swing bowling from England paceman James Anderson.
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 30, 2015
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 30, 2015
— FirstpostSports (@FirstpostSports) July 30, 2015
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) July 30, 2015
Mitchell Johnson sending shivers down the batting spine. Stokes gone for a duck. Another brute. — Peter Lalor (@plalor) July 30, 2015
— Glenn McGrath (@glennmcgrath11) July 30, 2015