Mitchell Johnson smashes Gilchrist’s record

February 28th, 2009 - 4:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Feb 28 (IANS) Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson smashed Adam Gilchrist’s national record when he blasted South African spinner Paul Harris for 26 runs in one over on the second day of the first cricket Test here at the Wanderers.
Two summers ago, Gilchrist blasted 24 runs from an over bowled by England’s Monty Panesar in Perth and everyone wondered if that national record would ever be broken.

But No.9 batsman Johnson showed Friday that though he can’t match Gilchrist’s ability with the bat, he still can hit the ball a fair distance. Johnson smashed four, four, six, dot, six and six from an over from Harris. Officials scrambled to find a replacement ball for the one which was lost over the mid-wicket boundary.

Johnson finished on 96 not out, four shy of his maiden hundred, as Australia were bowled out for 466 in their first innings.

“I didn’t know the stats,” said Johnson, who hit 10 fours and five sixes. “But it’s funny because I was actually thinking about Gilly while I was out there.

“Just seeing how he (Gilchrist) used to play - that Test in Perth against the English. I wanted to stay out there for (Marcus Morthy) Northy getting his hundred. That was one of my goals and I’m really happy for him,” Johnson said of his fellow West Australian.

“The last few months I’ve really focused a lot more on my batting. My bowling is my No.1 priority. It (batting) is something I really enjoy and hope I can continue improving.”

The 27-year-old left-hander shows the full face of the bat in an uncomplicated technique and boasts a batting average of 31.47 in his 19th Test. During telecasts he likes to see the little bat symbol next to his name on the team list.

“I keep a close eye on it. I let the boys know if there’s a bat up there, just to keep them on their toes,” he joked.

“If I get another chance, I’d love to get a hundred obviously. But if it doesn’t come, I’m going to be happy with that.”

–Indo-Asian news Service


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