Derbyshire's wisdom in making the West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul their major winter signing could not have been shown more amply as the left-hander provided the cornerstone of an opening-day recovery against neighbours Nottinghamshire at Derby.
The 38-year-old, who is as famous for his patience and obstinacy at the crease as his crabby stance, passed the milestone of 22,000 first-class runs and would probably have supplemented that with his 67th first-class century had he not run out of partners, which might be a recurrent theme of his latest spell in county cricket.
Nevertheless, from 75 for 6, Derbyshire's 256 all out made the First Division newcomers feel a lot better about themselves than they had after Middlesex skittled them for 60 at Lord's last week.
Batsman of the day
Gary Wilson, Surrey's reserve wicketkeeper, has established himself in international cricket with Ireland, but has had to be patient in his wait for opportunities with his county.
One came along and he grabbed it enthusiastically, rewarding Surrey for keeping him at The Oval for a further year by making 124 against Sussex, his second first-class century and just one run short of his career-best, which came against Leicestershire in 2010. After new Surrey skipper Graeme Smith suffered another cheap dismissal, making just three, it was a timely moment too for a substantial contribution.
Bowler of the day
David Willey, son of the former England batsman Peter, clearly had the benefit of a respected name when he set himself on a career in cricket, but his advance in the game is entirely on merit.
An aggressive fast bowler and highly capable lower-order batsman, the tall, blond-haired David took eight wickets and made 76 against Essex last week and looked in fine fettle again, taking 4 for 71 as Northamptonshire dismissed Gloucestershire for 192.
Stuart Broad's four wickets at Derby slightly obscured what could be a serious blow to his county Nottinghamshire's title ambitions when Andre Adams, who has led their attack with distinction with 189 wickets in the last three seasons, limped off after failing to complete his eighth over. The 37-year-old New Zealander suffered a recurrence of the calf injury that ended his 2012 campaign early and his powers of recovery are not what they were.