A blistering 151 from Kevin Pietersen off only 165 balls enabled England to end the third day of their final Test of the winter against Sri Lanka with a mighty lead of 181 runs.
There was no animated bat-waving in the direction of the press box, no release of pent-up fury at all the speculation about his position as England captain when Andrew Strauss acknowledged the applause for his half-century.
After another gruelling day in the Sri Lankan sun, England were still clinging on to their hopes of retaining their world No1 status on Tuesday, battling back late on the first day to give themselves a fighting chance of winning the second Test.
There is a symmetry, deliberate no doubt, in staging the final Test match of England's eastern winter at the P Sara stadium.
Sometimes one wonders whether Steven Finn is not too nice to be a fast bowler.
It would be expecting too much to find Andrew Strauss beaming and communicative after his England team had slumped to their fourth consecutive loss of the winter.
It is doubtful whether any of the English batsmen would have been brave enough or foolish enough to articulate what many were thinking when England started their pursuit of 340 runs for victory.
This was worse than the UAE, much worse.
Two Lancastrians now share fifth place in the list of English wicket-takers.