Warwickshire defeated Surrey by 49 runs
The ICC recently suggested changes to makes one-day cricket more exciting; on the evidence of this game they should simply play all games at Whitgift; or at least on pitches like Whitgift's.
A track dripping with runs, two powerful batting sides and two modest bowling attacks conspired to produce a most entertaining game
In the end it was Warwickshire's far superior fielding that proved the difference.
Two outrageously good onehanded catches by Jonathan Trott, a brilliant direct hit by Nick Knight, and a committed display by the rest of the team was in sharp contrast to a sloppy performance in the field from Surrey.
At the halfway stage, Warwickshire's total, only one short of their record score in this competition, appeared out of reach for a team that has won just twice in this competition this season.
But with Ali Brown in belligerent mood and the experienced Mark Ramprakash pacing his innings beautifully, Surrey were ahead of the rate until the last ten overs and Warwickshire were clearly wobbling in the field.
Heath Streak struck the fatal blow. Called back into an attack that was leaking runs at an alarming rate, he produced a fine yorker to account for Brown (34 balls, six fours and a six) when it appeared the Surrey man could steal the game.
The inexperienced Alex Loudon and Nick Warren both endured particularly chastening day with the ball, but the experience of Dougie Brown and Streak and another decent spell from the ever-improving Trott ensured order was just about maintained.
Perhaps most impressive was the performance of Neil Carter. Again showing the improved discipline and concentration that has seen his game improve this summer, Carter dismissed the dangerous trio of James Benning (24 balls, eight fours), new overseas player Dominic Thorneley (surely there are better young players at Surrey than this very ordinary import?) and Jon Batty. Carter bowled fast and straight and, achieving awkward bounce into the batsmen's ribs, proved very hard to punish.
Warwickshire's innings was built around a marvellous opening partnership of 96 in 12 overs from Carter and Knight.
Carter (36 balls, four sixes and five fours), who enjoyed a fine all-round game, blasted a 33-ball half-century to snatch the momentum that his team were never to fully lose.
On such a true pitch, with short boundaries and the fielders in, Carter was always likely to prove dangerous. But some of Surrey's bowling was mighty cooperative, and the large crowd was soon being peppered by his shots.
Successive Tim Murtagh deliveries were dispatched over long-on and mid-wicket for six, while the ball he pulled off Mohammad Akram may be travelling still.
This was just the second one-day half-century of Carter's career, but his form this summer has more than vindicated his captain's decision to persevere with him at the top of the order.
Knight (54 balls) was happy to take a back seat, but produced some lovely shots and appeared unfortunate to be caught behind, wafting at a wide ball on the legside.
Jim Troughton started nervously but, clearly deciding to be positive, played ever more attractively as his innings progressed. Using his feet to skip down the pitch, he deposited Harbhajan Singh for a superbly struck straight six, and followed it with a delicate swept boundary to hit the Indian off-spinner out of the attack. After two halfcenturies in the last three innings, he was surely made the No 3 position his own in one-day cricket.
Alex Loudon (52 balls, seven fours) was equally impressive. Recording his third half-century in three innings during this festival, he drove the bowlers to distraction with some wonderful reverse sweeps and added 108 in just 16 overs with Troughton.
Warwickshire lost five wickets for 32 as the middleorder threatened to squander the initiative, but a breakneck stand of 34 in four overs between Tony Frost (13 balls) and Ian Westwood, on debut, provided the icing on the cake, and took their side beyond reach.
After the disappointment of losing to Scotland the previous week, Warwickshire needed this victory both in terms of confidence in their own one-day form and to improve their league position. They remain a deeply unpredictable one-day side, but they are at last showing clear signs of improvement, and were certainly a far more proficient unit than their hosts, who now have only the Scots below on points at the foot of the Division Two table.