First day: Somerset have scored 359 for eight against Worcestershire
It was probably not quite the routine first day that captain Gareth Batty had in mind.
The only thing he got wrong was to lose the toss yesterday morning. But, after a hot, sweaty, run-filled day, he had at least been handed a 'get-out clause'.
Batty, selected for this match as stand-in skipper in place of England- bound Vikram Solanki, will be allowed by the England and Wales Cricket Board to take charge for a second day, today, but then he too, having been named as replacement for the injured Ashley Giles, is to be whisked off to the England camp to link up with Solanki and Kabir Ali on oneday international duty.
It will not, of course, be the first time that Worcestershire have had to change captains during a County Championship match. Few have forgotten Ben Smith's abrupt midmatch resignation last August. Given Steve Rhodes' filling of that particular hole, it effectively means that the county will be in the hands of their fifth captain in 11 Championship matches once Batty has departed.
That truly puts the tin lid on an unarguably disruptive few weeks for Worcestershire.
When you're just about to change coaches, you have to undergo a change of captain, you're two key players short, you're about to lose your main overseas pro, and his star replacement has proved a distraction by turning up weeks ahead of schedule. What more do you need than the stand-in skipper being poached by his country?
If it feels like total chaos off the field for Worcestershire, at least life on it passed yesterday at a more sedate pace.
It was the most perfect summer's day at the Bath Festival. The backdrop was as picturesque as it gets - rows of Regency residences carved elegantly out of their Cotswold stone, peeking out from beneath a rolling hillside full of dark green trees, all further bedecked by a parade of gleaming white marquees, occupied by people who actually know how to behave at cricket matches. It was also wonderfully quiet. Even the cricketers were in white.
The visitors' Matt Mason found the edge of John Francis's bat in the first over. They had a second victim before the Abbey bells had chimed noon next door when Graeme Hick pouched Warwickshire old boy Michael Burns at slip. From then on, Worcestershire found it pretty hard work.
With an international partnership of the class of South African skipper Graeme Smith and swashbuckling Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya on show, it was hardly a surprise that the home side turned things around. The only shock was that both should be dismissed within three-quarters of an hour of lunch.
Smith, trying to work the ball to third man, was well caught at third slip. Then Jayasuriya came up with a shot that would not have impressed his new international coach, the watching Tom Moody, in the latter's last match in charge. He was late on the stroke to a slightly quicker one from Mason and skied to Price at mid off.
That brought together Ian Blackwell and Matthew Wood. Blackwell became the third Somerset player to hole out having passed his halfcentury knowing he really should have gone on to collect the other half. But they did have one man with the application to get his head down.
Wood, preferred on the morning of the match to youngster Jimmy Hildreth, took full advantage of escaping the one chance he offered, a very tough one to a diving Ben Smith at cover on 69.
But his first century of the season was nonetheless deserved and it looks to have put Somerset in pole position to go on and win this ' Battyless' match.