England defeated Australia by nine wickets
It looked a certain case of win the toss and win the match by bowling first, but surely not by nine wickets with four overs to spare.
This was a ragged, untidy match marked by indifferent bowling from England and even worse from Australia under batting conditions much more difficult than in the Lord's Final when each side managed 196.
Arguably the worst part of the match was the new trial substitute rule and the tinkering with the fielding restrictions, upped from 15 overs to a block of ten and two of five. It was said this would test the captains by making them think about which two periods they best use the other ten.
It was simple yesterday, with batting conditions so difficult that Michael Vaughan and Ricky Ponting were both able to get them out of the way at the end of the 20th over.
As for the substitute rule, it descended to farce with neither crowd nor media able to understand what was happening, because there was none of the promised communication.
Even had there been any, either over the PA or the scoreboard, it is doubtful if anyone could have understood it, because the Australians, with the only ingenuity they showed in the match, drove a coach and horses through the spirit of the one-for-one rule.
Fortunately, in so doing they showed up the utter fatuity of trying to turn cricket into a 12-a-side game. More of that later.
Overhead conditions at Headingley were dank and gloomy and it is difficult to imagine a pitch offering more to anybody who held the ball seam-up. The sun came out in the afternoon and certainly eased things, but there was still enough in the pitch to make Australia's total of 219 for seven eminently defendable.
Instead, another lamentable performance by Jason Gillespie, together with a rare ordinary one from Brett Lee and the retirement after three of his ten overs by Shane Watson with a strained thigh muscle helped Marcus Trescothick and Vaughan to find their best form in a match-settling second wicket partnership of 120 at exactly a run-a-ball.
Back to the substitutes, who were named before the toss. No Matt Prior for England; instead Vikram Solanki which meant, to maximise his nomination, England had to win the toss and field first.
Australia read the pitch correctly and brought in Watson for Brad Hogg who waited in the wings for the first ever Australian "super-sub" to be used. Vaughan's map-reading was less prescient, because he picked Ashley Giles who never bowled a ball.
The Australian innings, as at Lord's, flew out of the traps thanks to Adam Gilchrist's 42 off 51 balls out of an opening partnership of 62 in 16 overs, before Steve Harmison had him caught behind leg-side in his second over. The destroyer was Paul Collingwood with four for 34, including a burst of three for seven in 14 balls.
The Australian batting was overly arrogant, with a still out-of-sorts Matthew Hayden ( 17), Ponting ( 14), and Michael Clarke (2) all getting themselves out with loose shots. Only a late flurry from Michael Hussey - England should be grateful he returns to Durham next week as he is in the best form of all of them - and Lee got Australia to 219 with 30 coming off the last two overs from Andrew Flintoff and Darren Gough.
England waltzed home after Andrew Strauss unnecessarily reverse-swept his way back to the pavilion from the fourth ball from Hogg.
Hogg? Yes, so let the reader try to follow his part in the match. Watson limped off and on came "super-sub". Right? No, wrong, because Hogg came on as an ordinary 12th man until the extent of Watson's injury was known. So he could only field and not bowl Watson's outstanding seven overs.
But, when it was known Watson was gone for ever, Hogg became super sub. To bowl seven overs? Wrong, because he replaced Hayden who could have bowled 10, with the opener staying on as 12th fielding substitute for Watson. Still with me?
Also, Australia could then have brought back Watson. Instead of Hogg only bowling seven overs, he could have bowled ten and Watson could have bowled his other seven.
It is a stupid rule and the sooner it goes, the better. Roll on July 21 and let the real summer begin.