In the time it took the concept of a European Super League in football to be launched and seemingly scrapped, the County Championship moved seamlessly between the end of one round and the start of the next.
Round three began with a mixture of big scores in some games and big bags of wickets in others.
A few England contenders failed to take their chances with the bat while potential candidates to reinforce the bowling stocks made their presence known.
One not only dismissed the England captain, but did so in front of England’s rejigged selection team.
Worcestershire opener Jake Libby’s ton against his old county Nottinghamshire at New Road was the second time he has reached three figures in just four County Championship innings this season.
Libby, who made 180 not out in the opening game against Essex, this time made 117 as the Pears posted 305-7.
He was well backed by his opening partner Daryl Mitchell (59) and a so far unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 89 between Ed Barnard and West Indian Test fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, who has not done much with the ball yet but has shown he can bat.
South African David Bedingham was another to hit his second century of the summer for Durham against Derbyshire.
He too made an unbeaten 180 in his side’s opening game against Notts, but he is on course to better that after hitting 170 not out of Durham’s 307-4 at Chester-le-Street.
At Edgbaston, although three Essex batsmen made half-centuries – Nick Browne, Paul Walter and captain Ryan ten Doeschate, backed by a fine 46 at the top of the order from Alastair Cook – nobody went on.
Instead, it was the Warwickshire pace bowlers who took the honours – with four scalps each for the lively Olly Stone and Oliver Hannon-Dalby, and two for Craig Miles.
Hampshire and Gloucestershire have both won their first two matches, but the hosts have comprehensively grabbed the advantage after the first day.
Ian Holland (114) and Tom Alsop (127 not out) both scored their second centuries of the campaign as they put on 228 for the second wicket before Hampshire closed on 292-3.
Somerset may well have been smarting after losing at home to Gloucestershire last week, but they responded well to losing the toss against Leicestershire to bowl the hosts out for 233.
Lewis Hill (68) kept the combined threats of Craig Overton (3-39), Lewis Gregory (2-39) and Jack Leach (2-23) at bay thanks to useful partnerships with the lower order.
But the Foxes responded well, reducing Somerset to 39-3 early on before Leach and skipper Tom Abell steered them 53-3 by stumps, still 180 runs behind.
In the London derby at Lord’s between Middlesex and Surrey, runs appeared tough to score.
Middlesex won the toss and bowled Surrey out for just 154, Tim Murtagh taking 4-28 against his former side as England trio Rory Burns, Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes all fell cheaply and South Africa legend Hashim Amla went for a duck.
The hosts battled their way to 114-3 by stumps as Sam Robson (46 not out) and Robbie White (52 not out) rescued them from a precarious 16-3 in a so far unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 98.
England Test captain Joe Root was dismissed cheaply as Sussex bowled Yorkshire out for 150 before reaching 118-3 in reply.
George Garton took three wickets – including Root who was pinned leg before for five – as the visitors’ innings lasted just 51 overs.
Garton also picked up the key wickets of Adam Lyth (42) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (17) as the hosts dominated.
Sussex opener Tom Haines finished unbeaten on 71 in reply, his third half-century of the season as Jofra Archer carried out fitness drills around the boundary under the watchful eyes of England head coach Chris Silverwood and ‘head scout’ James Taylor.
A battling century from Glamorgan captain Chris Cooke took them to a respectable 324-7 after being put in by Northamptonshire.
His ton came off 180 balls, sharing stands of 106 with Kiran Carlson (54) and 92 with Dan Douthwaite (44).
Gareth Berg (3-52) had played a major part in pegging Glamorgan back but Cooke (107 not out) saw his side through to stumps.
Lancashire’s fixture with Kent at Canterbury remains in the balance as the visitors finished on 260-7.
Josh Bohannon (87) fell agonisingly short of his second first-class century, falling leg before to Miguel Cummins six overs before stumps.
Lancashire were 85-4, but were rescued by a 102-run partnership from Bohannon and skipper Dane Vilas (53).