First day: Worcestershire trail Northamptonshire by 115 runs with eight first-innings wickets intact
He might not quite be everybody's cup of tea at New Road compared to the popularity of previous overseas signings - but you have to hand it to Shoaib Akhtar for knowing how to make cricket crowds sit up and take notice.
Just 15 days after taking six wickets on his County Championship debut for Worcestershire, Shoaib again showed his liking for Northamptonshire batsmen with a haul of five for 55 to help dismiss the visitors for 189.
From the moment he snared Bilal Shafayat with a brute of a ball in only his second over of the morning to closing the visitors' innings with an equally nasty delivery to remove last man Johann Louw, it was devilish, eye-catching stuff. But not all of it, it has to be said, to Worcestershire's advantage.
Shafayat's wicket was the only reward for a wild four-over opening spell that left Shoaib with the Twenty20-like figures of one for 41.
And his practice of leaving the field after every spell, presumably to wring the sweat out of his shirt and socks, is not the sort of behaviour Worcestershire's older members would have expected of their great fast bowlers of the past like Jack Flavell or Reg Perks.
But there's no doubt about it, when the 'Rawalpindi Express' is moving at top speed and taking wickets, he remains an impressive sight. And, having seen their star Pakistani once again bowl his side into a winning position, this time Steve Rhodes' men simply have to ensure they cash in. They cannot afford to collapse as they did at Wantage Road two weeks ago.
To that effect, it was not good news losing their two most illustrious batsmen, Vikram Solanki and Graeme Hick, by a raincurtailed close of play.
But, in Stephen Moore, just 19 short of 1,000 firstclass runs for the season, and Ben Smith, they do have their two most productive batsmen this summer at the crease. It is in their hands to try and build up a first innings lead today.
Whatever happens this morning, it will be hard to match the drama of yesterday's opening session which saw Northamptonshire lunch on 159 for four. Martin Love and Rob White both went for their shots as they got after Shoaib and Kabir Ali, who was equally expensive.
It took the introduction of the economical Matt Mason to get rid of White, while Love perished shortly after reaching his half- century and the expansive Usman Afzaal was gone too before the session was over, bamboozled by Gareth Batty.
Shortly after lunch, on 177 for four, everything was still looking promising for the visitors. But Shoaib's return for a second spell proved their undoing as the final six wickets clattered for just 12 runs.
In the same over, Shoaib's pace proved too much for David Sales and Damien Wright, who both carved lifters into their stumps. And, in his next over, he found the edge of Riki Wessels' bat.
Nadeem Malik, preferred as the extra seamer to Ray Price, then nipped in to claim the wickets of Ben Phillips and Monty Panesar before Shoaib switched back to the Diglis End to finish it off with a savage projectile to get rid of Louw.
After mutterings from the boundary's edge when the Pakistani Test ace had got carted off his first four overs, it had taken him just another 32 balls to restore himself to favour with the home crowd.
Solanki, opening the innings in four-day cricket for the first time in three years, hit four boundaries before departing, as did Hick to a second successive Championship duck. But, when the rain came to knock off a third of the day's play, Worcestershire had cause to feel the happier.