On a day that followed a similar path to the Worcestershire first day, Notts were bundled out for 161 by Durham at Chester-le-Street and then reduced the hosts to 55-3 by the close.
First team coach Wayne Noon paid tribute to his bowlers for their late fight-back.
“Both sides have got a strong seam attack and we always back our bowlers to do well," he said.
"Andre did what Andre does best and Ben got rid of the dangerous Di Venuto so we’ve ended the day just about level, we think.” - Wayne Noon
"Andre did what Andre does best and Ben got rid of the dangerous Di Venuto so we’ve ended the day just about level, we think.”
According to Noon, the conditions definitely didn’t help the batsmen. “If you look at the rest of the Division One scores then we got the top score of the day, so this wet weather is playing havoc everywhere else as well. At the end of their innings we’ll really know if our 161 is just about par on here or below par.”
A morning of persistent drizzle prevented the toss taking place as normal at 10.30 but by 11.45 the conditions had improved sufficiently for the teams to be exchanged and the coin to be flipped.
Notts sprang something of a surprise, bearing in mind that a side had been announced twenty four hours earlier. Andy Carter, not in the original selection, was included in place of Steven Mullaney.
So the final team showed two changes from the side that defeated Worcestershire, with Samit Patel and Carter replacing Riki Wessels and Graeme White.
With five front-line seamers available you would presume Notts wanted to bowl but the toss was won by Phil Mustard and he had similar aspirations.
Graeme Onions and Callum Thorp troubled the Notts batsmen in the corresponding fixture a year ago and each struck an early blow.
Thorp had Neil Edwards (7) lbw thrusting forward and Onions enticed Alex Hales (5) into snicking off to Michael Di Venuto at second slip.
Michael Lumb, on a ground where he hadn’t bettered 43 in 14 first class innings, and Samit Patel, fresh from Test match duty in Sri Lanka, eased it through to lunch at 31-2, although Lumb had an almighty scare after Will Smith nearly ran him out with a direct hit.
In the first over after the resumption Lumb (9) was struck twice on the pads by Ben Stokes. The first decision went in favour of the batsman but the second didn’t as Durham celebrated their first bowling point.
Mitch Claydon became the fourth Durham bowler to celebrate a wicket but had some help from Patel (13) who was taken down the leg-side by Mustard after a casual flick at a ball he could have left alone.
James Taylor and Chris Read began the task of turning the innings back towearsd respectability. Both had good fortune, as edges were either dropped, fell short or went over the slip cordon. In between both demonstrated good technique and judgement against the swinging ball.
A stand of 66 followed but then both men fell in quick succession with Stokes having Taylor (32) taken low down at third slip by Thorp. Just seven deliveries later Read (28) followed also, given out lbw by umpire Lloyds from Claydon’s bowling.
Paul Franks and Ben Phillips restored a modicum of calmness to the proceedings by remaining together at tea, which was taken with the score on 137-6.
Phillips (17) then couldn’t resist trying to heave Onions away but only succeeded in ballooning the ball straight up in the air for the bowler to complete the dismissal.
Adams (0) again went cheaply, failing to make connection as Claydon flattened his stumps. The third wicket to fall with the score on 148 was that of Franks (17), who was also bowled, the victim of a contender for ‘ball of the day’ as Onions knocked out his off stump.
The last pair, Fletcher (11) and Carter (1 not out) added 13 before Onions collected his fourth scalp, courtesy of a Borthwick catch at slip.
Defending only 161 Notts needed the lift of early wickets and got it, by removing the dangerous Di Venuto (11).
Pulling Phillips away, the Australian must have felt he was safe, even though he’d miscued it. Lumb, running at full tilt, had other ideas and was able to pull off a brilliant catch as the ball came over his shoulder as he sprinted out towards the ropes.
Andre Adams then struck twice before the close, enticing Smith (11) to edge to Patel and Stoneman (7) to give a similar offering to Edwards.