Worcestershire got off to the kind of flyer that we enjoyed in 2012 and it continued, largely because of the phenomenal returns of Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal. Win the toss, bat then win on the last day was the obvious route to success and Ajmal bowled with great stamina and no little skill for them until he had to return home for international action.
The irony of his action subsequently being called into question - not for the first time - is not lost and there is no doubt that they were a stronger side with him in it, as any would be, of course. Mitchell McClenaghan, the honest journeyman Kiwi who has replaced him, is a decent bowler but hardly of the same quality.
So Derbyshire have a chance over the next four days to show what might have been, had our season started sometime before the onset of June. The early season issues are well enough documented, but recent form in the different formats - OK, not T20 - have been more like supporter expectations.
The side has changed drastically in the intervening period and tomorrow sees us play without an overseas player. Marcus North, as expected, has played his last game for us and Cheteshwar Pujara has not yet arrived from India. That leaves a vacancy for our resident Anguillan to step in, at least to the squad, to see if he can make a decent fist of his first senior opportunity for some time.
He may not play, as my call on the side, obviously without seeing the wicket, would be:
I think Ben Cotton could miss out here, as the other bowlers pick themselves to some extent. It would be brave, or silly, to go into a game in late August without a specialist spinner and we're hardly going to omit the returning Wayne White, Palladino or Footitt. That's my call, anyway, so I'd be interested to see yours.
As for Worcestershire, they are captained by the prolific Daryl Mitchell and their squad lines up:
Mitchell, Oliver, Fell, Kervezee, Kohler-Cadmore, Cox, Leach, Choudhry, Shantry, McClenaghan, Morris, Whiteley, D'Oliveira
Ross Whiteley will hope for a return after a disappointing campaign, while Alex Kervezee will hope to continue an excellent record against us.
My prediction? I think we can win this. There's fresh optimism and with some justification in the Derbyshire camp and for me there's little between the two sides in ability.
It just goes to show what an impact a good overseas player can make to a county's fortunes. Something that will doubtless occupy the minds of Graeme Welch and his coaching team over the winter.
Pujara would do very nicely, as far as I am concerned.
I'm looking forward to seeing the first two days and catching up with friends, old and new. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Wayne White back in our colours. He would be a very sound signing, were we able to secure a permanent deal.
Postscript - the Guardian newspaper today said that Kent's Darren Stevens was believed to have received a very good offer from Derbyshire for next season. Newspaper talk? Buried as it was in a match report, it was unlikely to sell them many copies, but if there is any substance to him coming here I'd be very excited.
At 38 he is not in the first flush of youth, but probably has three or four good years left in him. He averages 40 with the bat this year and has over forty wickets at 23, so there is no sign of a diminution in what have been very impressive county standard powers.
Put it this way. If it helped to secure his signature, I'd drive down to Kent from Scotland to give him a lift...