We could marvel at the expertise of two visiting batsmen with varying degrees of humility, Marlon Samuels and Hashim Amla. Samuels might stare provocatively into the eyes of his opponents; the magnificent Amla was happy to stare at his toes, having caressed yet another boundary square of the wicket. For England, Kevin Pietersen played the innings of the summer at Headingley, but we all know what happened after that. Jonny Bairstow enchanted a packed house at Lord's and our appetites were whetted.
But most of the action took place off the field. There was the Pietersen affair; indeed there still is the Pietersen affair. In a surreal September step forward the new pantomime villain of county cricket, booed when he played for Surrey at one of his old "homes" at Southampton, for some reason cheered at Taunton (even though another century scuppered Somerset's championship hopes). Meanwhile, they currently love him at The Oval where he has played his part in Surrey's feat of escapology. We wait to see how much the England management still love him.
Then there was the dignified departure of Andrew Strauss, a strangely uplifting affair. It was sad to witness the resignation of one of England's finest captains. Yet Strauss seemed so content with his decision, so convinced that it was the best thing to do that it was not long before there was also an air of celebration. He timed his departure as sweetly as the old clip off his legs. Strauss could not have done much more. Thanks and au revoir.
Even now the spiciest activities are taking place off the field. There is a touring squad for India to be selected. Recently this has been a yawn-inducing affair since the pecking orders have been so well established. But not this time. The intention is to announce the party before England fly to Sri Lanka for the Twenty20 World Cup on Thursday. But even that is not certain now because there are so many issues to resolve (well, one actually).
In the past touring parties for India have delivered some eyebrow-raising selections. Back in 1976 the choice of Roger Tolchard as the reserve wicketkeeper ahead of that minor genius with gloves, Bob Taylor, enraged the purists. Yet Tony Greig would go on to pick Tolchard as a specialist batsman and he scored important runs.
Then there was the case of David Steele, the bank clerk who bravely went to war against the pacemen of Australia and West Indies. Greig omitted him because he was deemed to be weak against spin. Even now Steele is prepared to outline the error in Greig's thinking. In 1984 Chris Broad, a stout and brave opening batsman against West Indies the previous summer, was left at home for the same reason. To his barely concealed disappointment Broad was replaced by his county opening partner, Tim Robinson, who had an excellent tour.
England have not won a Test series in India since then. This time there are more tricky decisions for the selectors. Inevitably much hinges on whether Pietersen, who is currently not on the list of players offered a central contract, will be in the party. If he is chosen for India then England, when selecting their Test team, may well be tempted to promote Jonathan Trott to the opening slot with Ian Bell at three, Pietersen, Bairstow at five, then a batch of all-rounders in Matt Prior, Samit Patel and (fingers crossed, eyes closed) Stuart Broad, who has not batted so well recently. This was the balance of the side that finished the series in Sri Lanka.
But if Pietersen is absent, then the temptation will be to keep Trott, one of the best players of spin in the side, in the middle order, and to introduce an opener from county cricket. Either way they must select a new specialist opener to go on the tour. Michael Carberry, currently a one-Test wonder, is not renowned for his deftness against spin; Joe Root is gifted but very young; Nick Compton, who returns from injury for Somerset's last game of the season, is far more experienced but just as eager; Varun Chopra's contribution to Warwickshire's championship catapults him into contention.
Craig Kieswetter is likely to be promoted to the role of Matt Prior's understudy now that Steven Davies has been dropped by Surrey. Kieswetter may be a bit hazy about the deeds of Tolchard back in 1976 but once informed, he could also see himself as a contender for one of those middle-order slots, where James Taylor may be competing with Eoin Morgan for the final place. Morgan's retention on the central contract list is a good sign for him. There is plenty to chew over and this year not many of us will get the entire party right. We just hope Geoff Miller does.
Warwickshire make sure the ECB helicopter is groundedEven the Championship has let us down (though you may take a different view in Birmingham). In the last few seasons the last round of matches has provided magnificent melodrama and a bit of heartache with the (mythical) ECB helicopter bearing the trophy, swerving left and right on the last day of the season.
This time the major issues in Division One have been done and dusted. Warwickshire have deservedly run away with the title. Theirs was a magnificent team effort, marshalled by Ashley Giles beyond the boundary and Jim Troughton on the field. Under their guidance so-called journeymen became match-winners.
Not even Giles is likely to promote Chris Wright, Keith Barker or William Porterfield as imminent England players (though Varun Chopra may not be so far away and Rikki Clarke has already been there), but just look at their contribution to Warwickshire's success. Their players are on course for a rare double and they can relax a little before the CB40 final against Hampshire at Lord's on Saturday.
Last year's champions, Lancashire, are relegated along with Worcestershire. So any melodrama in the last round of matches must come from Division Two, where three clubs vie for two promotion places. Unlike the championship play-offs in football, the fixtures involving Derbyshire (173 points), Yorkshire (172) and Kent (167) do not have huge financial implications. In cricket promotion does not bring untold riches, just a few extra members and increased prize money at the top of Division One.
Yet in front of pockets of shivering spectators there will seem to be everything at stake and tension galore. For Derbyshire to win promotion would be a brilliant achievement.
The national selector, Geoff Miller, pops in, not because the club possesses a gaggle of potential England players; it's that the ground is just down the road. They have led the division for most of the season and are nervously hanging on.
By contrast there are those in Yorkshire who may feel that they have a divine right to be in the top division. But there will be nerves aplenty among their players at Chelmsford.
They know that there are no divine rights in cricket and they are determined to ensure that there will be no Roses clash in the County Championship next year.