First day: Worcestershire are 394 for four wickets against Northamptonshire
Worcestershire's June transformation from misfiring blunderbuss into English cricket's foremost run machine has now passed its ultimate test.
Since miserable May ended and the sun finally came out to play, from Bristol to Taunton to Chelmsford, Vikram Solanki's men have been scoring runs for fun.
But, while it is one thing scoring runs on the road, it is quite another getting them on the less hospitable pastures of New Road.
Phil Jaques and Graeme Hick yesterday put that right, sending their team's reputation soaring to new heights.
Together, they combined a 247-run fourth-wicket stand that rescued their side from the comparative poverty of 139 for three.
Having scored his second double-century in successive matches, on 202, Jaques spooned a tame catch shortly before the close, just when the county's new fourth-wicket record of 330 (broken by Hick and Ben Smith at Taunton only a fortnight ago) was again under threat.
But, having piled up 394 for four, Worcestershire are still on course for another huge first-innings total. Still there to marshal today's efforts is Hick, who stands on the threshold of yet another piece of record-breaking if he adds another seven runs to his overnight 93.
That would earn the great man the 130th first-class century of his career, taking him above Sir Leonard Hutton into sole occupation of eighth in the all-time list.
It would also be his one-hundredth for Worcestershire. The customary champagne was last night on ice, delayed only by an early finish due to bad light, which meant the day's final two overs were lost.
That is hopefully today's story. But yesterday again belonged to Jaques.
In his final match before being summoned home for a month of international duty, this was the hardest-grafted of his three Worcestershire centuries, largely due to the initially painstaking way in which he played himself in.
On a day when the visitors managed only four wickets, two of which were run-outs and all of which were self-induced, it was not until after tea that Jaques cut loose, doubling the flow of his 28 boundaries.
It was not his first ton on this ground. That came against Worcestershire, for Northamptonshire, when he struck his maiden first-class century here three summers ago. But Jaques' only two moments of concern in the course of his 22nd were the two run-outs, in which he certainly played his part.
The Australian had started sluggishly by comparison with opening partner Stephen Moore, who had struck five fours in cruising to 29 out of 43 in only the eighth over. But when Jaques pushed the ball into the covers and called for a single, the luckless Moore (the only batsman in Worcestershire's top seven without a century to his name this season) was removed by a direct hit from Bilal Shafayat.
Runs suddenly became harder to come by, skipper Solanki reaching only 23 before carving to Worcester-shire old boy Stephen Peters in the gully.
Smith was the next to get a start, only to surrender his wicket cheaply, when he became the victim of the day's second run out. Jaques called for a quick single to a forward prod, but Australian fast b owler Matt Nicholson swooped athletically before turning to throw down the stumps at the bowler's end.
Jaques was involved in another mix-up when he nearly got rid of Hick, only for Ben Phillips' throw to miss the stumps. But Hick, thankfully, stayed to fight another day and no doubt write yet another headline.