In cricketing terms, Act leader David Seymour suffered the equivalent of an expertly executed "Mankad" - a bowler stumping the batsman who prematurely leaves his crease.
Seymour had been strutting around proud as a peacock for being the only self-proclaimed true champion of democracy by refusing to give his leave for firearms legislation to be passed in a hurry.
He stood alone on his high horse. In the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks, all other parties had agreed to support hasty progression for at least the first tranche of changes - the banning of some guns, and tougher new penalties.
Seymour's plan was to refuse to give leave for the bill to be debated immediately, and for a truncated select committee process of just one week. That would have forced the Government to resort to using Urgency to get the bill before Parliament - something most Governments are reluctant to do.
Seymour was so busy talking to the media about his plans to refuse leave for the reforms to be rushed that by the time he made it to his seat to carry out this superhuman feat it was already done.
Not since the late Gordon Copeland missed the vote on the anti-smacking bill in 2007 have we seen such an example of high-vaunting principle fizzing out into such a deflated pffft.
Copeland dramatically quit United Future in opposition to the anti-smacking bill, only to then miss the vote on it completely.
So it was with Seymour.
Instead of delivering democracy he was outfoxed by Leader of the House Chris Hipkins.
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Rather than wait until after Question Time as usual, Hipkins stood just before Question Time began to ask for the leave of Parliament to expedite the bill. Seymour was still outside, oblivious.
Rarely has Parliament been treated to an exhibition of speed talking such as that delivered by Hipkins. He rattled through it at ear-blistering pace, stumbling only once.
He was to talking what Forrest Gump was to running. His tongue was his wing.
Just behind Hipkins sat Police Minister Stuart Nash, the point man. Nash looked like he was watching a tennis game, so quickly was he turning his head from the Speaker to the door to see if Seymour was arriving.
It took Hipkins 36 seconds to get through 129 words. The normal speaking rate is 110 to 150 words per minute.
The Speaker, too, left an almost indecent lack of a pause between asking whether there were any objections, and declaring that there appeared to be none. He remained remarkably deadpan as he did so, knowing full well the single wee voice which hoped to say "yes" was not yet there.
And lo, it was done.
Members of Parliament did not quite manage to stay as deadpan as the Speaker. Audible laughter swept through Parliament. The Greens - usually most opposed to the hasty progression of legislation - were first to gloat on Twitter.
National MPs Maggie Barry, Paul Goldsmith and Paula Bennett could all be seen looking at Seymour's desk and laughing. He wandered in a few minutes later.
Undaunted, Seymour sought to re-cast himself as the Superman of Democracy. Rather than berate himself for bad timekeeping, he claimed the fact Hipkins had taken advantage of his tardiness in such a fashion showed what little regard Hipkins had for democracy.
It's just not cricket!