Leicestershire defeated Worcestershire by 12 runs
It wasn't much consolation to Worcestershire's players as they climbed into their cars on Saturday night that they heard of Bangladesh's sensational one-day win over Australia in Cardiff.
Worcestershire had spectacularly clutched defeat from the jaws of victory by failing to chase 141 for victory. Yet it still did not rate as the cricketing turn-up of the day.
If Leicestershire's Phoenixlike effort did not quite match the Bangladeshi lads' performance for sheer shock value, it was a powerful message to the doubters who believe County Championship cricket is a dying art.
There are a lot in Leicestershire judging by the lamentable attendances at Grace Road for this match. But, as Steve Rhodes, the Worcestershire coach, said with extremely good grace given the horrific collapse in his first match in charge, it was the sort of entertainment that deserves far bigger attendances.
"You often think to yourself 'I've seen it all'," Rhodes said. "But then something else comes around the corner.
"Four-day cricket can be like a game of chess with lots of twists and turns. But nobody could have predicted all that. These things happen. That's sport. That's cricket. That's what makes it such a great game."
It looked a routine fifth Championship win of the season for the Pears when Ray Price struck three times in his first seven overs of the day to reduce the home side to 149 for eight in their second innings.
With only a 51-run lead, Worcestershire looked like winnng in time for lunch. But the visitors had reckoned without craggy Cumbrian Paul Nixon, a 34-year-old fitness freak of a wicketkeeper who, just like Rhodes once did, loves coming in down the order and showing up his top order.
That he did with a superb 85 off 135 balls, his highest score in over two years. It was made to look even better by the way he farmed the strike to protect the supposedly hopeless Charl Willoughby in a lastwicket stand of 64. It was not until the first over after lunch that the visitors got him when he turned Price to short leg and was run out by a direct hit by an alert Stephen Moore.
Then everything that could go wrong did. So many of Worcestershire's wickets were avoidable. It was just one of those days at the office that was hard to explain.
Moore and Graeme Hick were out at the danger end, where the bounce had become increasingly unpredictable over the four days, early victims for Ottis Gibson.
Then Leicestershire old boy Ben Smith got himself out, shouldering arms to young Stuart Broad's second ball only to see his stumps rearranged, before Zander De Bruyn edged to slip.
That left young academy graduates Steven Davies and Daryl Mitchell at the tiller. All looked well when teenager Davies put his four previous failures behind him to move smoothly to 49.
But, in pulling Broad through mid-wicket to reach what would have been his maiden first-class 50, his heel slipped and he stood on his stumps.
It was the final turning point of a topsy-turvy match as Worcestershire slid from 94 for four to 128 all out.
First-innings hero Mitchell was trapped in front, Jamie Pipe's 'death or glory' bid fell to a spectacular catch at long leg and the home side turned the screw when Chaminda Vaas edged to second slip.
Price made a bad call to try to sneak a single to short third man and was run out. Then, after the last pair had scrambled 14 runs to take their side to within 13 runs of victory, Dinesh Mongia snared Nadeem with his quicker ball.
Rhodes said: "To outplay them for three days and lose on the last day has left us gutted. But it's games like this that teach you lessons about cricket. And hopefully we can learn from that experience.
"To struggle under pressure was disappointing. But, credit where it's due, Nixon played particularly well and they also bowled far better than they had in the first innings.
"But the bottom line is that we had 11 batsmen to get 141 and didn't do it. I just felt sorry for the likes of Matt Mason and Nadeem Malik having to go out there and win a game that shouldn't have been their job.
"For all the good cricket we played, it's all about the business end. And a lot of people will look at their own performances and think 'I could have done better'."