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Aussies win, but Johnson concerns grow

Australia wrapped-up a morale-boosting 135-run win over Northamptonshire, but their worries over the form of Ashes spearhead Mitchell Johnson increased.

cricket Updated: Jul 27, 2009 10:46 IST

Australia wrapped-up a morale-boosting 135-run win over Northamptonshire, but their worries over the form of Ashes spearhead Mitchell Johnson increased.

Johnson, who has struggled in the first two Tests against England, did little to support his case to retain his place for this week's third Test at Edgbaston, with figures of 1-107 in 18.1 overs here yesterday.

But fellow paceman Stuart Clark impressed to boost his chances of a recall while under-pressure opener Phillip Hughes hit a second innings 68 in his team's 270 for three declared.

Shane Watson and Andrew McDonald - who hastened the hosts' collapse after tea with four for 15 - also did their hopes of a call-up no harm whatsoever.

Set 353 to win from 71 overs, Northants hinted briefly at a competitive if always unlikely chase as openers Niall O'Brien (58) and Ben Howgego put on 99 as Johnson struggled.

Denied the new ball, as he was in the first innings, the left-armer thought he had a wicket in his first over.