Perhaps it was fitting at Lord's, where tradition rules and progress is resisted, that events took on such a familiar feel.
For much of Warwickshire's fixture against the MCC, the match has taken a remarkably similar course to last year's encounters.
Warwickshire, having won the toss, scored heavily in their first innings but then struggled to dismiss the opposition's batsmen. DEj? vu.
It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that the end result will be the same. Warwickshire face daunting hurdles in their attempt to retain the Championship title and, on the strength of this performance, many more long days in the field loom ahead.
To be fair to Warwickshire's bowlers, they came up against some fine batsmen on a surface tailor-made for scoring runs. Nor were they helped when Dewald Pretorius, after six overs of welldirected quick bowling, limped off the field with a leg injury that threatens to keep him out of the first Championship match of the season. Mark Wagh, whose off-spin would have been useful, also spent the entire day off the pitch with a muscle strain, though it is not thought to be so serious.
Most credit for showing up the lack of penetration in Warwickshire's bowling attack must go, however, to 20-year-old Alastair Cook and 23-year-old Matt Prior. Their futures are bright.
Prior, one of the successes of the recent A tour, must be tremendously close to a Test call-up. Under the approving eyes of England's chairman of selectors, David Graveney, the Sussex wicketkeeper breezed to 70 off only 65 balls, punishing some rusty bowling. With Geraint Jones' wicketkeeping ability under increasing suspicion, Prior heads the queue of successors.
Cook, more cautious at first, showed great patience and solidity in compiling the second first-class century of his short career (218 balls, 14 fours). Particularly strong through the off side, he was missed on 58 at silly mid-off by Michael Powell off Alex Loudon, but unveiled an increasingly pleasing array of strokes and is clearly destined for greater things.
Pretorius apart, Warwickshire's bowlers struggled to contain the batsmen, let alone threaten.
Heath Streak produced a fine second spell, finding movement in the air and off the pitch, but is still some way short of full pace and fitness, while a creaking Dougie Brown found the surface unforgiving to his reduced pace.
Nick Warren struggled with his line initially but pulled things back well. Whether he has the weapons - in terms of bounce, pace or
swing - to cause damage on good pitches remains unclear but he has a pleasing action, pitches the ball up and shows great desire.
Loudon, keen to impress before the return of Ashley Giles on Wednesday, struggled in difficult conditions. He found some turn, however, and stuck to his task well, despite some harsh treatment at the hands of Owais Shah.
It took the intervention of Ian Bell to make the breakthrough. He induced a late cut to first slip to dismiss Prior but that only brought the entry of the elegant Shah, who added 166 in 50 overs in partnership with Cook.
Cook's dismissal, fishing outside his off stump, brought the declaration and by the close, Warwickshire were 140 ahead with three wickets down. Nick Knight is unlikely to risk a morale-sapping loss with an early declaration today, so some work is still required to secure the draw.
Saturday was dominated by Knight's 35th first-class century (157 balls). Although never quite at his best, the Warwickshire captain batted with growing assurance, striking four sixes off Graeme Swann.
Remarkably, it was the fourth time that Knight has scored a century in his first innings of the season ( excluding university opposition) and his second century in a row at Lord's, following his epic unbeaten 303 against Middlesex here last year.
He gave only one chance, on 70, when he was terribly badly missed at mid-off by Glamorgan's highly-rated
David Harrison, who did his England prospects no favours at all with a slipshod performance in the field.
Knight eventually perished to a reverse sweep, as much in an attempt to give opportunity to the middle-order as anything, but will go into the season with confidence high.
A significant score here would have enhanced Bell's Test aspirations. He was one of the few batsmen not to settle, however, soon top-edging an attempted pull and failing again in the second innings, bowled through the gate by Swann.
Jonathan Trott stroked an uncomplicated half-century but again fell short of three figures by driving a slower ball to cover and Wagh was timing the ball sublimely by the time he drove to mid-on.
In such form, there are few players to compare but England selectors notice centuries, not 60s.
Powell and Brown appeared in good touch, though the former was dismissed playing with bat away from body in both innings and Loudon looked nervous in the first innings before shouldering arms to a straight one second time around.