First day: England scored 407 in their first innings against Australia...
Kwik Cricket was launched successfully at Test level yesterday when a capacity crowd of 20,000 revelled in a day's play that, both for its run-rate and boundary count, would have been over par in a one-day international.
When was the last time that ten sixes were hit on the first day? Add 54 fours, which meant the home batsmen did not have to run for two thirds of their final total of 407.
Yet that total could and should have been higher, with five of the top six all getting in, and quite what it is worth will become clearer today because of various unusual batting- friendly conditions.
The outfield was slick and the normally short Edgbaston boundaries reduced still further by the roping off of several yards in all four corners. Also, England were given three large slices of luck by a rudderless Australia, but they still deserve much praise for the aggression they showed all day after the astonishing decision to give them first use of a decent-looking, slow pitch after the toss.
Ricky Ponting is a touch short of the stature needed to play Father Christmas, but his decision to bowl first on a batting pitch cane straight out of Lapland.
Not only was he minus his best bowler Glenn McGrath - out of this game and the Old Trafford Test because of an ankle injury sustained playing touch rugby - but it was an unwarranted gamble if only because of possible indentations which could make batting difficult later in the match.
McGrath and first use of the pitch were two slices of luck, with the third in the unexpected form of a couple of missed catches and one taken in the gully only for Mike Kasprowicz to be called for one of his seven no balls. Sloppy cricket.
Several things were different from Lord's, but none more important than the patent intent of England's openers to cash in while the cat was away.
Their opening partnership of 112 in 26 overs not only set the tone for the day, it also included a planned onslaught on Shane Warne, which triggered a bowling "ton" against his name in the 20th over for the first time for a long time.
He clawed things back a bit against the tail, but rarely has he been roughed up so effectively, particularly by both openers followed by Andrew Flintoff.
"Freddie" has had a lean batting summer but his blazing 68 will have released a few pressure valves.
The England innings was full of good things including 90 from Marcus Trescothick off only 102 balls that only improved his ground average by a tiny decimal point.
Kevin Pietersen enhanced his brief reputation at this level. Not so much because of his 71 - one of six batsmen to score three consecutive 50s in his first three innings for England - but more because of an instinctive cricket brain which kept him from trying to out-hit Flintoff, and then picking up the baton when Flintoff was out after tea.
Other plus factors included 48 from Andrew Strauss and useful contributions from the tail, but the other side of the coin concerns the only two batsmen not to reach double figures - Ian Bell and Geraint Jones - and a self-inflicted dismissal by Michael Vaughan.
As for Australia, Ponting never had the slightest control as all he could do was perm any two from four bowlers in a vain attempt to keep the escalating run-rate within bounds. The pre-lunch session produced 132 runs with Trescothick finishing it with a magnificent flourish after Strauss was well and truly diddled by Warne five minutes before the break.
Lee was on for the final over, but the opener never gave a safety a thought. He hit a six and three fours as a marker for the afternoon, which he and Vaughan called in with 30 off the first five overs. At 164 for one in the 33rd over, the sky was the limit, until Trescothick edged a good one from Kasprowicz to give Adam Gilchrist the first of his four catches.
For the only time in the day, the balance swung to Australia in a run of three wickets for 23 in four overs. Bell stroked a two and a square cut four off his first two balls before he got one from Kasprowicz which did a bit and then came the first England wicket to fall to an attacking shot.
Vaughan top-edged a short one from Jason Gillespie to long leg where Lee took a well judged catch. Now, at 187 for four, and Pietersen joined by Flintoff in what was still only the 37th over, the crowd waited to see if their sixth time together in the middle this summer would yield a dividend for the first time.
It did, and what a rich one it was. Flintoff could never claim he solved the Warne box of twirls and tricks, but the short boundaries encouraged him to take him on. When he passed 50 he had hit four fours and four sixes and the hundred partnership with Pietersen came off 96 balls with the new boy's share 32.
Pietersen's willingness to be a sleeper said much for his general nous, and the crowd was disappointed when Flintoff edged to Gilchrist just after tea.
At 290 for five, a big score of nearer 500 than 400 still beckoned, but Jones soon nicked one, and the fact that the last four wickets added 104 was down to Pietersen, Ashley Giles whose 23 included three fours in one over and were hit, with overtones of "take that" to his critics, and double figure contributions from the three pace bowlers.
Another highlight came when Steve Harmision hooked a 94.8 mph bullet from Lee for six to round off a day in which the crowd were given non-stop entertainment of the richest sort.
Who knows, this Kwik Cricket might catch on.