Move over 50-over cricket
The sun gently slipped towards the horizon, and fans with smiles on their sunburnt faces gently swayed between others coming in the opposite direction.
With the Kent v Gloucestershire decider still to come, it was the hour of contemplation at Twenty20 finals day.
Everyone – barring perhaps the odd diehard Sussex or Lancashire fan – was having a jolly good time at England’s premier domestic cricket event.
It is a fact almost universally agreed by every cricket viewer on these shores that Twenty20 is the best format of one-day cricket.
Too old to be an upstart in what is now its fifth year, and too young to be remotely predictable, finals day should be compulsory viewing for any executive at the frequently maligned International Cricket Council.
The last really memorable matches in 50-over cricket were probably the two matches between South Africa and Australia in the 1999 World Cup.
Since then, the ICC has presided over two further World Cups which attracted widespread criticism and yet it still maintains that 50-over cricket is the superior format.
India, the game's most heavily supported nation – who provide the lion’s share of the game’s money - are also reluctant to join the party.
India have played only one Twenty20 international and view the ICC World Twenty20 in September with so much suspicion that they have decided not to bother sending two of their best batsmen.
But let’s forget about the ICC and India for a moment.
The first two semi-finals at Edgbaston on Saturday proved once again that Twenty20 cricket is never boring.
Many of the big names, particularly Lancashire’s, shrivelled in the limelight.
Instead lesser stars such as Mark Hardinges and Darren Stevens (with the ball), plus Craig Spearman and dear old Rob Key (with the bat) were the toast of the two winning teams.
The Lightning failed to strike at all and the Sharks had plenty of bites before being gunned down in a classic finish by the Spitfires.
As the final got under way, the well-rested Gladiators re-emerged into the evening sunlight with swords drawn, ready to repel the sling-shots of Lasith Malinga.
Hamish Marshall hit 50 of the first 79 runs Gloucestershire scored, but when the natural light faded, so did he.
Kent Kolpakker Ryan McLaren removed Marshall and two others for another bit of magic – the first hat-trick of finals day.
And for the third time in the day, a precarious score in the 140s would be defended in vain.
Kent had almost made a mess of their first chase, though, and again got themselves into a nervous muddle after some excellent striking of the new ball.
Jon Lewis, his eyes burning with passion, appeared to turn the game decisively Gloucestershire's way in the final stages with two big wickets.
But with 20 needed off nine balls, the flashing blade of Stevens settled the issue.
Of the 22 men who appeared in the final, only Lewis is in England's 30 for the ICC World Twenty20.
Let's hope those selectors know what they're doing, because many feel they have not shown the kind of imagination which this terrific format requries.