By Andrew Alderson at Lord's
The prospect of rushing through the streets of London for a coin toss seemed vaguely farcical, but oddly necessary.
What if mercurial Pakistan conjured up a Lord's miracle against Bangladesh to oust New Zealand from the World Cup semifinals?
A transport potpourri followed: an overland train from Blackheath in the city's south-east, a Bakerloo underground line, and a stroll to the Marylebone Cricket Club in St John's Wood.
This 50:50 tradition to start a match held significance in the broad scheme of the tournament.
Lose and Pakistan had no chance of progressing to the semifinals via a chase, even if they equalled New Zealand on 11 points; win and they were still alive, albeit needing to test the limits of the 500-run scorecards printed especially for this event.
Teams on equal points are differentiated first on the basis of wins, followed by net run rate and who-beat-who.
A debate has emerged over the value of net run rate as a pecking order determinant, given Pakistan beat New Zealand and England and got close against Australia among the confirmed round robin top four.
Pakistan were effectively punished for the first round loss to the West Indies who chased 106 to win in 13.4 overs at Nottingham. In contrast, New Zealand were rewarded for hauling in 137 against Sri Lanka in 16.1 overs at Cardiff.
Naturally the Herald wanted to be in prime position to cover such an auspicious occasion and, er, wolf down a complimentary Lord's halal lunch. Apparently there wasn't a skerrick of pig on site.
The two protagonists - respective Bangladesh and Pakistan captains Mashrafe Mortaza and Sarfaraz Ahmed - stood pitchside ready for their interrogation by former England captain-turned-commentator Mike Atherton.
Team sheets were swapped as former West Indies captain-turned-match referee Richie Richardson observed. A host of hangers-on with varying degrees of relevance milled about holding cameras, phones and clipboards.
Beyond the cauldron, a spectacular atmosphere was building with a palette of red and green in the stands. Such fervour was tempered by a few empty corporate boxes and what looked like enough room to do yoga in the members' pavilion.
Pakistan were designated as the "home" team for the day, so the "visiting" captain made the call.
"Tails," Mortaza willed, as Bangladesh prepared for their first one-day international at the venue, despite having been a test nation since 2000.
"Heads," came the definitive reply.
Atherton asked Sarfaraz what he would do. The answer did not surprise, as a host of Pakistani batsmen whacked throwdowns in the vicinity.
Fortunately for Pakistan, Mashrafe said he would have done the same, a decision which would have dulled speculation about what lay ahead.
For the record, Pakistan toiled to 315-9.
The Pollyannas of this world might have seen an opportunity to dismiss Bangladesh for seven or fewer and rocket into the top four by completing a record victory margin across the 4186 ODI omnibus.
Those of a more Eeyore persuasion didn't wait long for the inevitable. Tamim Iqbal flicked a single behind square in the second over to take the score to eight without loss and ensure there was no cricketing apocalypse. Pakistan were gone.