Sometimes it takes only a few moments to transform a mongrel dog of an evening into a Cruft's Best in Show.
An innings of restrained, persuasive elegance from Ian Bell helped guide England to a six-wicket defeat of South Africa at Lord's and with it a 2-1 series lead before the final match at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
Jolted by the aftershocks of tectonic departures elsewhere, England's one-day international team will reassemble at The Oval on Friday set to embark on an unexpected new era of its own.
Andy Flower has dropped the strongest hint yet that Kevin Pietersen will not be offered a new central contract by England next month.
Steve Finn was not flattered by his figures in the second innings.
I have no private access to the particulars of the current situation, but it seems likely that the impasse between Kevin Pietersen and the England management and team is not just a matter of the recent text messages (whatever they contained).
Seldom has a man of the match looked so glum.