On this day, a weird incident happened in cricket history called the Jellybean Gate. It was Trent Bridge Test of India’s tour to England in 2007. India came to Nottingham with a sigh of relief. They had been outplayed in the first Test at Lord’s and if the rain gods were not helpful, India who were 9 down and too far from the target, had lost the match.
Rahul Dravid at the end of the Test said, “We just got out of jail.” And indeed they were.
The fate of the last match made the second Test at Trent Bridge important for both the teams. India started well in the match, bowling out England in the first innings for a mere 198 runs. The Indian batsmen made full use of the opportunity at hand and scored runs at will. Courtesy of five fifties by the top 7 Indian batsmen, India posted 481 runs in reply in first innings. This first innings, however, also made this Test a match to remember forever. Not because of any particular display for batting or bowling but a few jellybeans. Yes, you read it right.
Batting to add as many runs as possible in the first innings, Zaheer Khan was trying best to counter English bowling attack. Suddenly, he was seen marching towards the umpires with Jellybeans in his hands. His complaint – The English players were throwing them at him.
The conversation with the umpire was prolonged before English batter Kevin Pietersen joined in. Zaheer was not looking to stay calm too. There were few jelly beans dropped on the ground, supporting Zak’s argument.
India were bowled out for 481. It was a tough task for the England batsmen to deal with. They did not know that the jelly beans would turn out to be the deciding factor of the game. Zaheer had been irked by the whole episode while batting and he was pumped up to show them the aggression which is allowed in international cricket – the one with a cricket ball in hand and not jellybeans.
Zaheer scalped five England wickets, dismantling the England batting order by picking the first three in form of Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Michael Vaughan. England openers had given a great start to the team, putting up 49 runs before the Zaheer began telling English batters who was the real boss.
England were bowled out for 355 runs in the second innings and giving India a low target of 72 runs to chase. India batters, after a few hiccups, managed to register a win, leading the Test series 1-0.
The third Test ended in a draw and India clinched the series that year. England still regret those jelly beans, whether they were thrown for real or not.