A promising debut by Navdeep Poonia provided a chink of light amid more gloom at Edgbaston yesterday.
Warwickshire's new-look team was outplayed by a Nottinghamshire side that had won only two matches out of seven in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy before yesterday. Warwickshire have won once in 13 matches.
Had this been a tennis match, Warwickshire would have lost in straight sets. A boxing referee would have stepped in to prevent further harm. It is hard to remember the Bears being on the wrong end of a more one-sided match.
Poonia, in a marvellously positive innings of 59, crashed seven fours and two sixes. Only one colleague managed more than 17.
The 20-year-old born in Glasgow but brought up in Wolverhampton was close to selection for Scotland's C&G campaign and has realistic aspirations of representing the country in next year's World Cup in the West Indies.
"I've got a great chance of playing in the World Cup," 'McPoonia' said. "It doesn't come at a great time as far as my final exams at university are concerned [he has just finished the second year of a degree in physical education], but it's too good an opportunity to miss.
"This was the first time I've played at Edgbaston and was easily the biggest crowd I've played in front of. Hopefully I've done enough to be considered again. I'd love to play in the Twenty20."
Poonia has been part of the Warwickshire set-up since he was 13. He represented England at every level from under-13 to under-16 and has been scoring heavily for the second XI. He credits director of coaching, Mark Greatbatch, for much of his progress.
He said: "Mark was very encouraging at the start of the season. He said if I scored consistently for the seconds and in club cricket I would be considered and that's how it has proved. It did look a hard batting order to break into but hopefully I've taken my chance and will force my way into consideration a bit more."
Poonia is an unusually aggressive opener, with a looseness outside off stump but an approach that also unsettles bowlers.
"My career changed midway though last season," he said. "I decided to be more positive with my batting and it paid off almost straight away. I made 199 against Worcestershire for the seconds and continued to score runs. I just decided to play my natural, positive game. I was over-complicating things."
Poonia's anger upon dismissal showed that this is not an easily-satisfied young man. "I was annoyed," he said. "I played a poor shot. Forties and 50s don't get you noticed and I should have gone on to get a few more."