When Alastair Cook won the toss and opted to bat first at Emirates Durham ICG, the England skipper may have feared his side could end up at the close nine wickets down. What he wouldn't have expected, however, is that Nathan Lyon would have four of them to his name.
Australia's first-choice spinner (at least for the last two Tests) bowled with accuracy and intelligence to remove the home side's top order on a day when it was meant to be the seamers who dominated proceedings.
If the 25-year-old looks a little older than his age suggests, it's probably due to the fact he's had to cope with constantly being under pressure.
The Hokey Cokey sums up his Test career so far - he's been in, out, in, out, taken all about. Even in India this winter he was dropped after the first match of the series, only to then be recalled again one match later.
Coming into the Ashes he seemed the frontline slow bowler, only to be left out in favour of a teenager who had played no more than a handful of first-class fixtures in Australia.
Back in the line-up at Old Trafford, Lyon managed to snare just one wicket for 95 runs in the first innings. He bowled better than his figures suggested, and never got the chance to have a real go on a fifth-day pitch second time around due to the Manchester rain.
In Durham the pressure was off him to be the main man, yet he was the one who seemed to cause the most problems for England's batsmen.
At 107-1 the home team were in control until Lyon snared Jonathan Trott thanks to a bat-pad catch. He was briefly hit out of the attack by Kevin Pietersen, who immediately showed his contempt for the bowler by coming down the wicket to the first delivery he faced.
However, Lyon returned to remove the same batsman with a ball that took the outside edge from around the wicket. Ian Bell tried to be aggressive too just four balls after tea, yet only chipped the New South Welshman to a diving Ryan Harris at mid-off.
With Jonny Bairstow lbw sweeping, the offie had taken out numbers three through six on the scorecard. Lyon will sleep well tonight, that's for sure. So will Australia, even if the Ashes may no longer be within their reach.
What will be the result of the fourth Ashes Test?