If nearly 24,000 people were prepared to pay to watch such a mismatch as this, then perhaps day/night Test cricket really does have a future in England.
This was the highest attendance for a day’s Test cricket at Edgbaston since 2001, excluding Ashes matches. Against a West Indies side apparently in permanent decline, that is a hugely encouraging statistic.
Two days into the experiment, the crowd appear more enthusiastic than the players. Alastair Cook, who made 243, says the “jury is out” on the pink ball and questioned whether England, with its strong Test attendances, needed to try it at all.
The rain, which fell early in the evening session and ended play early, sent the 23,922 crowd scurrying away but they had enjoyed what they saw.
It is always better to anticipate a problem than to react to it and, having seen Test attendances drop alarmingly in other parts of the world, the ECB deserve credit for pushing ahead with this initiative.
Whatever the colour of the ball, there is nothing Cook likes better than batting… and batting… and batting.
When he was eventually leg-before on review to Roston Chase, the former skipper had batted for 38 minutes short of 10 hours. England promptly declared on 514 for eight.
Dawid Malan made 65, his first Test 50, but missed a good chance to press his Ashes claims with a century, which was there for the taking against an ordinary bowling attack. Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali all fell trying to push the score along, before Cook’s dismissal signalled the declaration.
It is one thing to face a callow West Indies attack on a flat pitch; it is quite another to tackle Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad with daylight slipping away.
Sure enough, Anderson struck in his second over, tempting Kraigg Brathwaite to push forward and taking the ball away from him. A thin edge flew straight into the gloves of Bairstow.
Kyle Hope and Kieran Powell started to adjust to conditions and guided their team to 44 for one by the premature close, though Powell escaped on two when he was put down by Stokes in the gully off Broad.
Broad was frustrated again when Moeen Ali, fielding at third slip with Keaton Jennings dropped, could not react quickly enough when Hope edged past him on 14.