In the end, it required little apparent effort for England to bat throughout the final day and save the match.
The pitch, so lovingly prepared by Andy Roberts, was simply too benign and trustworthy to produce either uneven bounce or sharp spin.
Vaughan found his form again
And with England losing only one wicket in the morning, and a further one in the afternoon, it was never going to be the sort of surface to produce a spectacular collapse.
Michael Vaughan, with a previous top score of 32, had had a poor series with the bat, but he rediscovered some form and timing as he posted his 11th Test century.
Typically, he reached his landmark with his favourite stroke - a classical extra cover drive - and he went on to score 140 before one of Sarwan's little leg-spinners flicked his glove.
This second innings was a good opportunity for both openers to end the tour on a positive note, and they made the most of it.
In easy conditions, and with all the time in the world in which to bat, they put together their highest opening partnership together - 182 - before Trescothick was cunningly deceived by an Edwards slower ball.
Sarwan winkled out both Vaughan and Flintoff
Playing far too early, he checked his drive and gave an easy catch to cover for 88.
Lara did all he could to switch his bowlers about - and even went through a phase of setting unorthodox fields in the hope that one of the batsmen might make a silly mistake.
In fact, West Indies had to watch as Nasser Hussain and Mark Butcher put on 92 for the third wicket and, with only 25 overs to go, the celebrations when Butcher was caught at slip for 61 were somewhat muted.
Hussain's dismissal for 56 made one or two optimists take notice, but time was always ticking away.
Had Flintoff not dragged a Sarwan full toss to midwicket for 14, Lara might have conceded at the first opportunity.
But, with five overs remaining, he shook Graham Thorpe by the hand and walked off. Five days simply were not enough for this game.