Shamik Das

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vaughan's gobby allsorts put back in their box after failing to walk the walk as India take series lead

"I CAN'T TELL THE TRUTH!" ... Coming soon to a cricket ground near you.

• Fired up Zaheer leads victory charge • Captains play down jelly-bean furore • Referee warns teams to cool it

Trent Bridge, second Test: India (481 & 73/3)
beat England (198 & 355) by seven wickets

INDIA put in a five-star performance to win only their fifth Test on English soil following an easy victory chase today.

The tourists' triumph, however, was overshadowed by a row about jelly-beans - alleged to have been thrown at Indian tail-ender Zaheer Khan by England's slip cordon.

Khan, who said he felt "insulted" by the antics during India's first innings, had the last laugh, ripping the heart out of England's batting line-up yesterday to finish with match winning figures of 5 for 75.

As well as firing up the Indian bowlers the jelly-been contretemps has also cast further doubt on Michael Vaughan's probity at the highest level, following his outburst and then subsequent climb-down over the "Fredalo" affair.

In June Vaughan was quoted in The Guardian as blaming Andrew Flintoff for England's failures at the World Cup, saying "after 'Fredalo' we just started taking it all too seriously"; a claim he subsequently denied.

Then, when presented with an audio copy of his interview, the Yorkshireman made a humiliating about-turn. He said: "I was embarrassed by what I did, but we've got to move on.

"I was embarrassed to deny saying something, then it was proved that I had - and I'm sorry for that - but I'm really pleased with the way the team fought."

VICTORY: India captains past and present Saurav Ganguly (right) and Rahul Dravid (left) savour the moment after putting England to the sword at Trent Bridge.    JELLY BABIES: Michael Vaughan's army of jelly-bean throwing clowns wound up with egg on their faces following defeat today.

Many observers who witnessed his denial of the jelly-bean throwing at Trent Bridge, and in particular his failure to censure Matt Prior, may well wonder if he'll have to make yet another grovelling apology to the world's press.

The game itself was a foregone conclusion once India resumed on 10 for no wicket, needing another 63 runs to win, the winning runs coming in fitting fashion, with Prior - who'd kept poorly all game - conceding four byes off Chris Tremlett.

Tremlett had been the only bowler to trouble the batsmen on a final day pitch that remained true to the end, finishing with figures of 3-12 to go alongside his first innings haul of 3-80.

And with India now one-nil up and needing just a draw at the Oval to take the series, Rahul Dravid is confident of a rare overseas triumph.

"I think expectations have increased over the last four or five years," said the India captain. "People don't expect us to just come here and be part of the summer.

"People do expect us to come and perform and we expect ourselves to come here and perform. We don't come here just to be another team."

For England, meanwhile, the immediate future looks bleak, with the prospect of a first home series defeat since the 2001 Ashes looming large, though Vaughan was adamant their defeat had nothing to do with jelly babies.

"It's not the reason we've lost a game of cricket, because of some jelly beans," added the England skipper. "We lost this match because we didn't get enough runs in tricky conditions."

Here is the full match scorecard from Cricinfo.


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