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Mitch monsters Melbourne as Scorchers storm into final

Cricket

Perth Scorchers paceman Mitchell Johnson says his standout performance against the Melbourne Stars hasn’t convinced him to come out of international retirement, but he’ll consider joining forces with arch enemy Kevin Pietersen down the track.

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Johnson revived memories of his golden years by snaring an incredible 3-3 from four overs in Perth’s seven-wicket semi-final thrashing of the Melbourne Stars at the WACA last night, producing one of the greatest bowling displays ever seen in BBL history.

Johnson claimed two wickets in the first over of the match, before the Stars limped to 8-136. In reply, the Scorchers cruised to 3-139 with 19 balls to spare, with the win securing the two-time champions a home final against either the Sydney Sixers or Brisbane Heat.

Johnson has been a standout during his first BBL campaign, snaring 12 wickets in eight matches to lead the Scorchers to their fifth final in six years.

The 35-year-old had previously indicated his hot form wouldn’t tempt him to return to Australia’s T20 set-up.

And his stance didn’t change despite his heroics against the Stars.

“I don’t think I want to play, to be honest. I don’t think it would be as enjoyable for me,” Johnson said of the prospect of returning to Australia’s T20 set-up.

“I’ve had my moment in the sun, and that’s done and dusted. These young guys are still playing better cricket than what I am.

“I just don’t think it would work. It’s too much stress at the top level.”

Johnson definitely wants to play on for the Scorchers next summer.

And as part of the plan to keep him match fit, he’s keen for another stint in the IPL, and possibly a gig in England’s domestic T20 competition.

Pietersen and Johnson were arch-enemies when they faced each other in Ashes series across the years.

In his autobiography, Johnson revealed he almost punched Pietersen during a heated spat in 2009.

But the BBL has helped ease the tension between the pair, so much so that Johnson wouldn’t mind playing alongside Pietersen at the same team in England.

“I had a few early day dramas [with him]. But I don’t hold any grudges,” Johnson said.

“And that’s where this has been a good tournament – because there’s been a few guys who I’ve come up against which I might have had a few run-ins with, and he was definitely one of them.

“I know in the last few years our relationship got better.

“As for sort of calling each other up – that has never happened. But I did see that he said something on Twitter after I retired.

“He mentioned it was great playing against me, so that was really nice.

“Who knows, if I do go over [to England], maybe there’s an opportunity to play in his team and work alongside him.”

-AAP

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