Spartan Mitchell Johnson has made a scorching return to top-tier cricket, playing a leading role in Perth’s win over the Adelaide Strikers.
It was an historic night for the Scorchers, winning an opening round game for the first time in the six seasons of the BBL.
With his four overs spread across three spells, Johnson picked up 3-33 in an impressive outing for the Scorchers.
He was close to not playing at all after dislocating a finger in a practice game two days ago.
Johnson was brought into the attack in the eighth over of the innings, with Perth in a commanding position.
He picked up the wicket of Kieron Pollard just five deliveries into his spell and ended any hope the Strikers had when he bowled top-scorer Brad Hodge (56) with a clever slower ball.
The former test spearhead ended his night with the wicket of Michael Neser, ending an entertaining eighth wicket stand with Kane Richardson, who showed resilience with a hard-hitting 45.
Defending 7-197 after a franchise debut 61 from England test veteran Ian Bell and an unbeaten 44 off just 19 deliveries from Ashton Turner, the Scorchers never looked in danger.
They removed the dangerous Ben Dunk in the first over and had Jake Weatherald and national representative Travis Head back in the dugout within the first four overs.
It leaves the Strikers winless after their first two games ahead of their New Year’s Eve blockbuster at the Adelaide Oval against the Sydney Sixers.