England tore up the form book as they won the one-day series against Pakistan, winning all four matches in stunning fashion in the UAE.
Ripped to shreds in their last ODI series - a 5-0 mauling in India - and bamboozled by spin in the three Tests that preceded this match-up, few gave England any hope of victory.
But victories came from all positions and scenarios nonetheless, and suggested that England have taken the first tentative steps towards building a team that can compete at the 2015 World Cup.
Who has shone in this morale-boosting run of displays? Cow Corner runs the rule over the men in the middle.
The one big positive in the crushing 5-0 series loss to India late last year became the biggest positive of several in a 4-0 defeat of Pakistan. Stay free from injury, and Finn could open the bowling for England in one-day internationals for the next decade.
13 wickets at 10.30
Settled any doubts about his one-day credentials with three superlative knocks. Demonstrated more invention and ambition in his captaincy decisions. It could easily be lost in the aftermath of the whitewash that England were overwhelming underdogs going into the series — Cook's grit and determination were instrumental in turning the tour around.
323 runs at 80.75
Two matches ago you could hear the sound of knives being sharpened after two less than convincing innings back as an opening batsman. Two centuries later and those noises are gone. The 130 in the fourth ODI was an innings of responsibility and brutality. Any more of those, and he'll be back in the world's top 10 ODI batsmen again in no time.
281 runs at 93.66
Broad was overshadowed by Finn, but still returned tidy figures until he was rested for the final match of the series. At one point in the second game he reverted to a barrage of bouncers and short stuff, but when he got his length right, he was far more dangerous.
5 wickets at 23.4
The pressure is building on Anderson, whose one-day career is under some pressure, particularly on slower, lower tracks which don't favour his swing. But he responded well, bowling with persistence if not panache, and taking wickets at crucial times.
4 wickets at 28
Not always fluent, but Bopara did what was required of him, hitting two fifties from the two innings he played, acting as Cook's foil. He's yet to convince all his doubters, but he did nothing to harm his chances at international level, until a back injury ruled him out of the final game.
108 runs at 54
The selectors have a soft spot for Samit, and there are signs he is starting to repay their faith in him. He was scarcely called upon with the bat, but with the ball he was steady and for the most part reliable, returning better figures at a tidier economy rate than fellow all-rounder Shahid Afridi of Pakistan.
34 runs, 5 wickets at 33.8
Being dropped into the middle order seems to automatically put Kieswetter under some pressure to retain his place. With a battery of options available to England as wicketkeeper-batsmen, Kieswetter needed an innings of substance, and his knock of 43 in partnership with Pietersen in the final game was worth more than the scorecard suggested.
52 runs at 26, 6 catches and 1 stumping
Swann was not at his penetrative best with the ball, but he nonetheless contributed one economical spell after another, particularly valuable in the second game as England squeezed Pakistan out of the contest. A reliable bowler for Cook.
2 wickets at 48
Morgan's tour continues in scratchy fashion. He batted four times for 66 runs, not once looking like the player who has terrorised one-day sides in games gone by. He will be frustrated that twice he came in too late to make bigger contributions and to play his way back to somewhere near that form.
66 runs at 33
Trott's series began inauspiciously, cleaned up first ball by an Afridi googly, and it didn't get a great deal better. He faced 71 balls in the series for just 38 runs, but his performances in 2011 mean his place is under no serious threat for the Sri Lanka tour.
38 runs at 12.66
Played one match
Jade Dernbach 8.5/10 — The seamer made an impressive return to action in the final game, striking with his second ball, using his variations and slower balls with restraint and impressive effect, and pressing a convincing case for a starting spot in Sri Lanka.
4 wickets at 11.25
Danny Briggs 8/10 — The 20-year-old showed no nerves on his international debut, picking up two wickets and stymieing the Pakistani batsmen with his nagging line. What he lacks at the moment in turn he makes up for in control — and, on this showing, temperament.
2 wickets at 19.5
Tim Bresnan 6/10 — On the face of it, Bresnan took the big wicket of Asad Shafiq on his return to the ODI arena, and then sliced away the winning runs from his first ball. But for much of his bowling spell his pace was well down from his best, and he looked rusty.
1 wicket at 47
Jos Buttler 4/10 — Buttler looks destined to be a middle order star in the not-too-distant future — but his debut will not be fondly remembered. Blocked his first delivery, was caught at short leg from a bat-pad decision the next. His day will come.