Warwickshire have scored 329 for seven in their first innings
Warwickshire were grateful for a robust century from Jonathan Trott on the first day of their Championship match against Sussex.
Without Trott's intervention Warwickshire would have squandered a sound start and the opportunity to bat first on a pitch that will only deteriorate.
His middle order colleagues flickered briefly, but failed to provide the substance required and it was left to Trott to see his side into a respectable position.
It is generally accepted that Trott has had a lean season, but a glance at the statistics might provoke a reappraisal.
This was the fourth first-class century of his season and, on 114, he passed 1,000 first-class runs in the campaign for the second time in his career; a country mile ahead of any of his colleagues.
Yet his form in the Championship has been poor. Those first-class figures are boosted by a big century against Cambridge UCCE and a good game against the MCC; hardly the most competitive cricket.
Until this innings he was averaging under 30 in the Championship and his previous centuries had come against a feeble Glamorgan side on the batting paradise of Colwyn Bay and against the other also-rans in this division, Gloucestershire.
This century, however, was against the Championship leaders and an attack boasting three international bowlers. It was a high-quality innings.
Had it not been for Trott (214 balls, 17 fours), Warwickshire would have been in trouble this morning.
For while he took the lead in a number of promising partnerships, none of his colleagues was able to stay with him long enough to establish absolute dominance. They lost three wickets for 17 after lunch and, at 215 for five, were precariously placed.
Only Trott converted his start into a match-defining score, and their current position is no more than par on a slightly two-paced pitch.
Trott added 52 with Nick Knight, 68 with Alex Loudon, 58 with Tony Frost and 55 with Dougie Brown. Warwickshire may yet rue that none of those stands went on to establish a stranglehold on the game.
There has been drama even before the toss. Jim Troughton suffered back spasms during the night and was ruled out, resulting in late call-ups for Trevor Penney (whose last first-class game was in 2003) and Luke Parker. Michael Powell, however, insisted he was fit enough to play and Penney was not required.
Knight and Ian Westwood laid a solid platform.
Although both were dropped early on - Westwood on 11 and Knight on 29 - they battled through and produced some pleasing shots.
Westwood was eventually undone by one that swung and took the inside edge on its way to the keeper, but Trott was soon into his stride.
He has not always looked comfortable against spin, but here he played an off-colour Mushtaq Ahmed beautifully. He used his feet to come down the pitch and lace drives through extra cover, and was quick to rock on to the back foot and cut and pull with power when the opportunity arose.
Michael Yardy, the destroyer on Tuesday night, was surprisingly not called upon to bowl.
Trott has sometimes looked ill-balanced at the crease of late but here resisted the temptation to follow balls outside the off stump or the involuntary prods away from his body.
Batting appeared a simple business again. This was the seventh century of his firstclass career. A county cap is surely overdue?
Knight (127 balls, 13 fours) was well caught in the slips as he pushed at one he could have left, but Loudon again looked comfortable. He drives with rare grace and often appears on course for a big score only to fall when well set.
He has scored four Championship half-centuries for Warwickshire and is at his best when the game needs to be won (at Middlesex) or saved (Kent and Surrey). The problem is, only once has he passed 50 in the first innings, when the game is there to be shaped. Here he was undone when he played across a quick yorker.
Powell soon departed via an inside edge on to the pad that ballooned into the air, before Parker suffered his first single figure score in his fifth Championship match when he was beaten all ends up by one that cut back sharply.
Frost clipped a catch off his legs and Brown was a victim of the extra bounce of the new ball just moments before bad light brought an early close.
Trott, however, was not to be defeated. He did not give a chance until after he had passed his century, when he was badly missed by Adams at slip, and resumes today intent on taking the score beyond 400.
Warwickshire's total is already their fifth highest first innings score of the season. They have won all four of the other games and are well placed to sustain Sussex's poor record at Edgbaston.
The visitors have not won here in the Championship since 1982 and know that a failure to do so this week will almost certainly undermine their attempt to reclaim the title.