Controversy reigns on opening day
Decent bowling conditions and some reckless batting contributed to the clatter of wickets on an opening day full of controversy. First came the news of Darren Pattinson's debut - something I am still battling to comprehend.
Born in Grimsby and raised in Australia, Pattinson admitted to me before the start of play that he has never harboured any ambition to play for England. So what on earth is he doing wearing an England cap? That should have been where this whole saga ended.
Innocently enough, Pattinson has taken advantage of the fact that he has a British passport to play some county cricket between seasons in Australia. Aged 30 next week, he offers nothing to England's future, and this is the crucial difference between him and the many others who have represented England having been born elsewhere, or who were raised overseas. They, at least, made the decision to make a life here.
Crucially, after a total of just 11 first-class matches both here and in Australia in all of this time, how can the selectors really be sure that Pattinson is worthy of receiving such special treatment?
I have nothing whatsoever against Pattinson on a personal level, none of this is his fault and he seems to be as surprised as anybody. But I must take issue with our selectors whose responsibility, I would argue, extends more than merely to picking players.
What message does this send to English county cricketers who dream of playing for England - and, specifically in this case, to Chris Tremlett, who was actually called into the squad before Pattinson?
Barely had we settled down after this news when AB de Villiers had the nerve to claim a catch at slip that he clearly dropped. Andrew Strauss was the batsman, and he rightly stood his ground while the umpires conferred. One replay was enough to expose de Villiers' gamesmanship, and loud boos rang out across Headingley. Later, what appeared to be a brilliant catch by Vaughan was overruled by the third umpire who gave Amla the benefit of the doubt.
Seven of England's batsmen made starts, and then got out. Alastair Cook must be excused criticism as he received a poor decision but, especially as England had decided to drop Paul Collingwood and play an extra bowler, it was imperative that wickets were not sold cheaply.
Worryingly, Michael Vaughan made a duck, falling again to Dale Steyn and Tim Ambrose did little to suggest that he will be a long-term prospect at number six. Andrew Flintoff played the worst shot of the lot, flailing at a wide one and being caught behind for 17.
Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie both looked well set, but the bounce found by Anderson and Flintoff as England got amongst the wickets again made one wonder why Tremlett or Steve Harmison was not chosen.