Derby (day one): Derbyshire 270 (JL Clare 66, T Lungley 50; NMCarter 4-65) v Warwickshire 14-0
By mid-way through day one, it seemed as though all the hard work had been done by Warwickshire's bowlers. An excellent spell after lunch from James Anyon and Neil Carter had reduced Derbyshire to 128 for seven, but a violently wagging tail kept an indifferent attack frustrated for nearly 40 overs late in the day.
How Warwickshire's performance can range from superb to utterly abject in the course of one hour's play is inexplicable - but it is not the sort of consistency conducive to a successful promotion challenge.
Derbyshire ended the day in a far better position than they could ever have envisaged - but so much of their resurgence can be attributed to the visitors' inability to get the job done.
Tom Lungley (94 balls, four fours), batting at No 8, scored his maiden half-century in eight years of county championship cricket as part of an eighth-wicket stand of 81 and even worse was to come for Warwickshire.
The No 9 batsman, Jon Clare (124 balls, eight fours) hung around for more than twoand-a-half hours to register his career-highest score of 66 before Charl Langeveldt started carving the bowling apart and contributing to the 48 runs that were milked from the first five overs after the new ball was taken.
At that point, there was an undeniable sense that so much of Warwickshire's work had been undone; that went some way to making Rikki Clarke's dubious decision to bat first on such a seam-friendly wicket look well-justified.
Nevertheless, on a pitch that seemed to get easier for batting and turned a lighter shade of green as the day went on, one suspects that visiting captain Darren Maddy would have taken this position at the start of play.
Clarke's decision to bat did not look disastrous as Stephen Stubbings and Chris Rogers saw off the new ball, albeit creeping along at an uninspiring pace.
Scoring was not easy given the longish outfield and some frugal bowling, but Warwick-shire's opening pair of Monde Zondeki and Neil Carter looked far from threatening.
The former kept it very tight throughout, especially early on, conceding only 13 runs in his opening nine-over spurt, but did not pick up a wicket until his 20th over. For that to happen on a helpful wicket, with two new balls at his disposal and when the medium-paced swing bowling of Maddy was causing relative havoc at the other end, is poor.
Mondeki's display will surely have left Ian Bell and Tim Ambrose, both appearing in their last county game before national service kicks in, hoping he does end up featuring for the tourists later in the summer.
It was left to Maddy to pick up the openers, trapping ex-Cannock professional Rogers lbw with one that nipped back; he then accounted for Stubbings by enticing him to push at one that jagged away, which was plucked off his boot-laces by Bell at slip.
Anyon's briskish pace from the Grandstand End accounted for John Sadler to leave Derbyshire at 75 for three at lunch when Bell was once again called into action at slip after the batsman was beautifully squared up.
It was after lunch that the game, and the wicket, really came to life as that fine partnership of Anyon and Carter cut through the hosts' middle order.
At one stage, the latter was on a hat-trick, having dismissed Dominic Telo and former Warwickshire man Freddie Klokker lbw in successive balls. David Pipe dug out a good yorker to avoid becoming his third victim but he did not survive long after that. Pipe went for 10, caught again by Bell at slip, after failing to deal with Anyon's aggressive round-the-wicket approach.
Clarke's hard-earned 22, which came off a mere 77 balls and in 108 minutes, was then thankfully ended by Carter whose wicket-to-wicket approach offered a clear signal to his teammates of how to bowl. The former Surrey player was trapped lbw, falling away to the off side as he tried to clip the left armer to leg to leave Derbyshire teetering on 128 for seven.
If only Carter's blueprint was heeded. Lungley and Clare batted for 30 overs for their 81, before Maddy trapped the former lbw - the fifth such dismissal of the innings - three balls after he had reached the half century that had evaded him throughout his first-class career. He batted with application and deserved it.
Langeveldt threw the bat at a few - he was given plenty to go at by Carter, whose third spell was so unlike his second - before holing out to mid-on to a good catch from Ian Salisbury. Clare, with only Nayan Doshi for company, then gifted Zondeki his only wicket of the innings by clipping to Salisbury at square leg.