Kent defeated Warwickshire by an innings and 164 runs
It was hard to escape the feeling that a changing of the guard occurred at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Warwickshire, the champions, succumbed to their first home defeat for 22 months against Kent, who had all the characteristics of the champions-elect.
It was Warwickshire's first home defeat since September 2003, when Lancashire also won by an innings. When Warwickshire fail, they do it in style.
Nick Knight, Warwickshire's captain, rates the performance in the match against Sussex at Hove as worse but it is the difference between a train wreck and a car crash; neither were desirable.
There were mitigating circumstances for this performance. Heath Streak's injury was a massive blow (as was Ashley Giles' at Hove), while the absences of Mark Wagh and Naqaash Tahir have undoubtedly weakened the side.
But this is not the first time that Warwickshire have been outplayed this season. Surrey, Sussex and Kent have all previously had by far the better of matches so it would be a mistake to dismiss this performance as a one-off.
There's no disgrace in losing, particularly to a better team and, over the course of the two Championship matches between the two sides this summer, there can be little doubt that Kent are the better team. This victory takes them top of the table, five-and-a-half points clear of Warwickshire. Only the most partial of supporters would say they expect those positions to be reversed by season's end.
Strange though it may sound, Warwickshire didn't bowl too badly. They lacked penetration, variety and, it has to be said, a touch of class, but that is no disgrace. We knew the attack was modest and there were bound to be days like Friday. In the longer-term, however, there must be a concern that for all the young batsmen the club's youth policy produces there is little sign of the next wickettaking bowler.
More of a concern is the failure of the batsmen. While last year six averaged more than 48 in the Championship, this year only two average better than 40. One of those is Ian Bell, who is likely to disappear on Ashes duty, while the other is 24-year-old Alex Loudon, who has yet to score more than 64. The bowlerfriendly pitches this season is one reason but technical flaws and poor shot selection are also contributory factors.
Expectations need to be tempered. It's a message that captain and coach were keen to convey at the start of the season. Warwickshire overachieved last year. Their marvellous Championship triumph was against all the odds and to expect lightning to strike twice is probably unrealistic. To be second in the Championship table at the halfway stage is no mean feat and the team will do well to sustain such a lofty placing.
Warwickshire's slim hopes of survival were all but extinguished in the final day's second over. Knight played back to a ball from Min Patel that spun past his bat and into his stumps.
It prefaced a spell of four for 23 in 49 balls from Patel, who finished with his best figures since 2001. Well though he bowled, finding uncharacteristic bounce and turn from a surface that had appeared fairly benign when Warwickshire bowled, the home batsmen played him poorly. They were back when they should have been forward.
The nightwatchman, Nick Warren, edged to the keeper, paying the price for a tentative forward prod, before Jonathan Trott was trapped in front as he tried to turn against the spin.
The current travails of Trott bear the classic symptoms of a batsman suffering from 'second season syndrome.' He has perished playing away from his body. After only 24 balls of resistance Trott departed exactly as Kent predicted, playing with hard hands against the spin. Colin Cowdrey used to urge players to "make sure the weaknesses of this season are the strengths of next".
Loudon, the master of the cameo, played a couple of lovely cover drives and Troughton pulled a rare Patel long-hop into the Hollies stand. But it was token resistance.
Troughton lunged forward and offered a simple bat-pad catch, Dougie Brown, who has scored 128 runs in ten Championship innings, was bowled off the face of the bat, unsure whether to play or leave, before Loudon went back to one that kept horribly low but that he could have smothered on the front foot.
Defeat was followed by a long team meeting, after which Knight said: "We were poor. They made a brave - I thought it was wrong --decision to bat first, but we made it seem as if it was a good decision.
"We had a tricky first hour to survive on the first day but then we should have had the best of the conditions. Instead we were 52 for six.
"In the second innings we judged the length wrong. We went back to balls we should have got forward to."
Many Warwickshire batsmen fell to aggressive shots, particularly in the first innings, but Knight defended his batsmen playing positive cricket.
"The batsmen played lots of positive shots last year, and I don't remember anyone complaining.
"It's very difficult for a captain to know how to guide the younger batsmen. I want them to be positive. I want them to play their natural games, but it's hard to find the right balance. I'm massively disappointed but there will not be any panic. Or excuses. We will not just dismiss this game and move on. We've got to acknowledge where we have failed and look to put it right."