Saturday at Trent Bridge was where the third and final Test match against Sri Lanka went wrong for England. Their batting on a blameless pitch was as shoddy as anything they have done in several years.
To be dismissed for 229 was inexcusable, particularly as Muttiah Muralitharan took "only" three wickets, and the biggest crime of all was that no one reached 50, despite four of the top six scoring more than 20.
The hardest thing for a batsman at this level is to get in and survive his first hour. Anyone can get out for a low score but former Test players in the media centre were incandescent that Marcus Trescothick (24), Alastair Cook (24) and Kevin Pietersen (41) all got themselves out to poor cricket and that Paul Collingwood's 48 in over four hours got himself and his side so bogged down that Sri Lanka were allowed to dictate the pace of the game.
The innings was a mix and match of bad technique and, just as worryingly, poor tactics spawned by their inability to play Murali. Starting the day at 53 for two, they were soon in trouble when Cook left a gate a mile wide through which Lasith Malinga forced an inside edge on to his middle stump. A total absence of footwork.
Pietersen played himself in and looked in control, even against Murali as he breezed into the thirties. With Collingwood at the other end to supply the glue for the innings, things looked good for the home side - until they suffered two hammer blows in the last 30 minutes of the morning session.
Pietersen hit the world's best off-spinner for a massive six but then, unlike the previous week at Edgbaston where he reined himself in, tried a repeat off one far too full in length and spooned a dolly catch to square leg.
England's two batting big guns often fire a couple of blanks together, and it happened again next over when Andrew Flintoff cut at a short one from Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene pulled off a terrific slip catch.
A lunch score of 139 for five made for a reflective home dressing-room, realising there was a real prospect of conceding a lead, not gaining one.
Collingwood decided to concentrate on occupation of the crease, and the afternoon session's run rate dropped and dropped - just 60 runs coming off 35 overs. Murali bowled 17 overs for as many runs but the batting grind might have been acceptable but for the loss of two more wickets.
Geraint Jones simply has to play a meaningful innings to justify the unswerving faith in him shown by Duncan Fletcher but another failure has increased the size of the question mark against his name.
He is not quite a walking wicket for Murali but Saturday's dismissal went most of the way towards it. Bogged down after 42 balls for 19, he did the one thing against the spinner that is most dangerous - left his crease to attack.
His second mistake was to make room to hit him through the covers and he played inside a straight one and was stumped by a couple of feet.
Slow bowlers don't like getting out to slow bowlers, and wicketkepers are equally reluctant to give their wicket to an opposing glove man, which made the stumping culpable and would ensure he returned to a silent and not totally sympathetic dressing-room.
Liam Plunkett did his best to support his Durham colleague but the runs only dribbled along with 33 coming in 25 overs. The fast bowler faced 58 runs for his nine, and surely Collingwood should have sought to up the tempo. It was Jayasuriya, brought into the side for runs, who bowled Plunkett before Collingwood was lbw to the second new ball taken by Vaas.
Jonathan Lewis came in to enjoy his batting debut, just as did the day before with his three wickets, and what a breath of fresh air he was. He is an old-fashioned tailender, prepared to swing the bat and blessed with no little power and timing.
He woke up the capacity crowd with four fours against the second new ball and clumped his way to 20 off 29 balls before he was last out, caught in the covers.
A deficit of two runs was poor but the absence of a decent lead could be put right with a few wickets before the close. Matthew Hoggard bowled Michael Vandort with another inswinging purler - and that made the opening partnership aggregate 23 for six in the series. Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga saw things through to leave Sri Lanka with a considerable advantage.
When they were 139 for eight on Friday, who would have bet they would end the second day with a lead of 47 and nine second-innings wickets in hand? England may well gun them down in a run-chase but they will have to bat much better than on Saturday.