Johnson fires in Ashes tour game

Mitchell Johnson had Englishmen ducking and weaving on a docile pitch as Australia smashed through the first speed bump of their Ashes tour.

Rob Key scored 87 to help Kent reach 5-203 at stumps on day two of the four-day clash in Canterbury.

Michael Clarke declared at 8-507 shortly after lunch on Friday, when Steve Smith continue his incredible run of form by posting another ton.

Johnson trapped Daniel Bell-Drummond lbw with his sixth delivery after the innings break.

The fiery left-armer had his pace up and sent down a nasty bouncer to Key the following over, arguably the highlight of an impressive five-over opening spell.

The visitors’ hopes of quickly running through the top order were dashed by Key.

The 36-year-old, who played the last of his 15 Tests in 2005, was rarely troubled by pace aces Johnson and Ryan Harris.

Key guided the hosts to 3-152 before throwing away his wicket – and a 53rd first-class ton – by attacking Fawad Ahmed’s legspin once too often.

From that point on there was only one man calling the shots, much to the chagrin of inebriated locals who taunted Johnson throughout the day.

Johnson’s Ashes redemption came in 2013-14, when he snagged a staggering 37 wickets and terrorised England’s batsmen.

However, the 33-year-old will be desperate to show he can do it in English conditions after a miserable Ashes tour in 2009.

Alastair Cook and Joe Root will provide more stubborn resistance than the likes of Sam Northeast and Ben Harmison.

But the early signs were good from Johnson, especially given he was the only quick in the opening two days to effectively use a bouncer.

Kent captain Northeast was cramped for room and provided a regulation catch for Brad Haddin, while Harmison was bowled.

Johnson finished with figures of 3-42 from 13 overs and will be out to finish the job when play resumes at 8pm AEST on Saturday.

Harris shared the new ball with Johnson, but often drifted down the leg side and struggled to match his colleague’s potency.

The 35-year-old hasn’t played a competitive fixture since January, having been rested from the second half of the Sheffield Shield season then skipped the West Indies tour due to the birth of his first child.

National selectors will not judge Harris, Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the 2013 Ashes, on one day.

But he will be keen to lift as the selection debate swirls before the first Test starts in Cardiff on July 8, with incumbent pacemen Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood all in form.

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