London:The British press noted a bitter-sweet edge to England's rapid victory over the West Indies in the first Test at Lord's, the quickfire win left thousands of spectators disappointed.
England's 10-wicket victory over the visitors was done and dusted by last evening after the match had started, unusually, on Wednesday.
That left an estimated 20,000 people who had bought tickets for Saturday's play without a match to watch and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with about 180,000 pounds (USD 270,000) to refund.
Many commentators said the back-to-back scheduling of Test matches an attempt to rival the money-spinning Twenty20 version of the game in the entertainment stakes had proved to be a mistake.
"The Wednesday start, a necessity once the second Test was scheduled to begin next Thursday (three days minimum has to be pencilled in between back-to-back matches) is looking like a bad piece of judgement," said the Guardian.
The Daily Mail said that the earliest ever start to a Test staged in England and the lack of weekend play had led to overwhelmingly empty seats at a quiet and windswept Lord's.
"The atmosphere has been soulless, with little of the buzz that makes Lord's the best cricket ground in the world, and the ECB will have to reconsider their policy of insisting on seven Tests each summer in this ever-changing world of more and more Twenty20 cricket," the paper said.
The Daily Telegraph said that "irritation may be increased" by the fact that the West Indians "are being paid an unusually high fee" for the series.
The paper's correspondent, former England Test player Derek Pringle, argued that England and captain Andrew Strauss had learned little from the match because the opposition had been so lacklustre.
"England's players will take the win though, if only for the feelgood factor" after a poor winter, Pringle conceded. The second Test starts in Durham on Thursday.