For England, it may not have been the desired result, but it certainly had the desired effect.
There was an all-female groundstaff.
Between Isa Guha, Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Anya Shrubsole, commentating on BBC Two, there were 710 international wickets.
And England and Australia showed almost 20,000 people at Edgbaston what women’s cricket is about, with a penultimate-ball thriller that was just edged by the visitors.
In a week that saw the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) find that racism, sexism, classism and elitism are “widespread” in English and Welsh cricket, the first T20 of the women’s Ashes provided the game with some hope.
The report found that women are treated as “subordinate” to men at all levels of the sport.
To find positivity in the record crowd is not to undermine the findings.
It is to send a message, to show that women’s cricket is not going anywhere.
“I don’t think that it [the report] came as a surprise to anyone that has played women’s cricket,” England batter Tammy Beaumont, who scored a double century in the Ashes Test match at Trent Bridge, told the Tailenders podcast.
“The ECB has started the cog of changing things but hopefully now it can accelerate. Abuse is not OK in any part of society.
“I’ve achieved what I have this week, yet the amount of abuse I have received, even about the way I look, is terrible.”
Ultimately, England’s performance on Saturday was rather anti-climactic.
They fell short in what was virtually a must-win game, with the added significance of being on free-to-air television and with the opportunity to make their mark on the eager crowd that roared and applauded every England run and wicket with vigour.
And they felt the disappointment, too – but there was a bigger picture.
Ten years ago to the day, Nat Sciver-Brunt made her England debut against Pakistan at Louth, where spectators were few and far between and most likely consisted mostly of the players’ families.
But for England’s debutant at Edgbaston, all-rounder Danielle Gibson, the experience could not be more of a contrast – and in the most brilliant, inspiring way.
Gibson was clapped in to bowl like an Olympic long jumper at the start of their mark, each dot ball cheered like a wicket and every run saved greeted with raucous appreciation.
There was diversity in numbers, too – children danced for the camera, groups of friends dressed up as Super Mario and lifeguards, boys donning England shirts with ‘Knight’ and ‘Sciver-Brunt’ on the back.
As England fought back in the closing overs with three late wickets to ignite hopes of a shock victory, the crowd savoured every emotion with them.
Australia needed 14 runs to win when all-rounder Ellyse Perry was bowled by Lauren Bell – and as the stumps splattered, the elation and pure joy that could be felt from the Hollies stand sent goosebumps through the commentary box.
“I never thought I would see this day,” BBC Test Match Special commentator Daniel Norcross observed, as a Saturday night in Birmingham erupted for women’s cricket.
But, this can no longer be such a rarity in the face of the sexism and misogyny that has been uncovered.
“We’ve got a huge number of recommendations which we are absorbing, the first of which was to send an apology to those who have been discriminated against,” said Clare Connor, ECB deputy chief executive officer and managing director of England women, on BBC Two.
“From a women’s game perspective, there are very strong recommendations and we will be absorbing those and consulting over the coming months about how to implement as many of them as possible.
“The majority of the recommendations don’t have a huge price tag attached to them. They’re about culture change, leadership, accountability, kindness and how we make people feel in this game.”
Edgbaston 2023 must set the benchmark.
And those joyous scenes, and the support of women’s cricket, must become the norm.