At the close of the third day in the second Investec Test, England had been hopeful of setting a target above 200, while West Indies ideally wanted to keep them to 150. The scale of the turnaround in expectations can be measured simply enough: when England declared on the fourth evening, they had set West Indies 322 to win, a score that would constitute the highest successful chase at Headingley since 1948.
There was no one saviour of England's second innings as the collective strength of their lower order again coalesced into a formidable whole. Joe Root, Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes contributed half-centuries but, at 327 for 7, they were still only 158 ahead. Enter Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, whose belligerent stand of 117 in 23.2 overs put England firmly on top.
It was an eighth-wicket partnership that, coincidentally, equalled that of Ian Botham and Graham Dilley on this ground in 1981, and one that put a severe dent in West Indies' chances of a first Test victory in England since 2000. Moeen, in particular, revelled in his role as the tourists lost their grip on the match.
"We felt like their heads went down pretty quickly after tea," he said. "We were trying to go up five runs at a time and keep going, keep burying them almost, make them suffer in terms of keeping them out in the field. Their bowlers were getting tired, there wasn't much going on and they were a bit down I guess as a side.
"We didn't try to go out and be positive, it just came off. I think that was due to the way the guys played up top, we kind of pounced on it a little bit."
England had to dig in during the first half of the day, having resumed on a lead of just two runs with seven wickets in hand. They lost Root during the morning session, before a watchful 91-run stand between Malan and Stokes, only for a mini-slide of 3 for 24 during the afternoon to leave them in a precarious position once again.
They did appear to gain a slice of luck after tea when Moeen, on 32, edged Devendra Bishoo to the wicketkeeper - it had already been called a no-ball, though replays suggested it was a tough decision against the bowler and one that could not be rescinded via technology. While both Moeen and Roddy Estwick, West Indies' bowling coach, played down the incident, it seemed to help shift momentum England's way.
"I feel with the team we have and the strength we have, we were capable of being in this position," Moeen said. "We're very, very happy to be in this position, at the start of the day we probably wouldn't have thought we would be and it's fantastic.
"Definitely, over the last couple of years, we feel one of us [in the lower order] will get the opposition. We thrive on that. We know we've got the ability to do that. It's great when guys at the top like Rooty, Malan and Cooky get runs, then we can come in and capitalise. If we are struggling, because we see ourselves as proper batters, it's a great situation to have as a team."
If England were to pull off victory, after Root's attacking evening declaration, it would rank alongside a couple of similar recent comebacks. Moeen was again to the fore against Pakistan at Edgbaston last season, with a freewheeling 86 off 96, as they overcame a first-innings deficit of 103, while victory over New Zealand at Lord's in 2015, when they trailed by 134, was achieved on the back of twin 50-plus scores from Ben Stokes.
Although no breakthrough was forthcoming in the six overs possible at West Indies' openers, Woakes said that the players were confident of taking ten wickets on the final day.
"The deficit after the first innings, we were very much behind the eight-ball," he said. "To even be in this position, we're delighted to have the opportunity to go out and potentially win a Test match. We do realise it's still a half-decent pitch but, fingers crossed, it does deteriorate on day five and give a bit of variable bounce. If we bowl well and stay patient we can get the Test win over the line but rest up and be patient, it's going to be a tough day."
Estwick was left to lament another example of West Indies' poor catching costing them, after Malan was dropped during the morning session at a point when England's lead was just 43. He said, however, that the tourists had gone some way to proving their ability, after an innings defeat in the first Test, and were not giving up hope of victory.
"It's been very frustrating, mainly because we work very, very hard at it," he said of the fielding. "We continue to make mistakes at critical times - when we dropped Malan today, England could have been 50 for 5. You can't continue to give good players chances at this level and we really paid for it.
"We're still looking to win this Test match. We've got nothing to lose … We're still in with a chance. If we can play well enough in the first two sessions, then we'll assess at tea and see where we're at.
"I remember in 1984, we were set 300-odd and Gordon Greenidge got 200-odd and we won that Test match. So hopefully tomorrow the boys can come out and go well. But the key thing for us is that we've shown improvement, after the Birmingham Test match when everyone was saying we were the worst team to ever arrive on these shores, we've scrapped and battled and taken it in the fifth day with a chance of winning."