Nottinghamshire prevailed on a fascinating first day of the LV=Insurance County Championship fixture against Durham, finishing on 312 for the loss of nine wickets.

Liam Patterson-White made an unbeaten 66 after Ben Slater had scored 60, and Joe Clarke 48, earlier in the day, but regular wickets for the home side kept the hosts in the hunt. 

In the end, Durham fell victim to a reduced boundary size - a result inducing tactic - which facilitated the releasing of pressure for the visitors whenever it loomed. 

In need of a victory to qualify for the top division, Ben Raine bowled with guile and accuracy to finish with figures of three for 54, while Chris Rushworth, celebrating his 35th Birthday, took three wickets for 68. 

Having won the toss, Durham made their first inroad in the seventh over when Chris Rushworth produced a pearler of a delivery which straightened to evade the bat of Haseeb Hameed and crunch into the right-hander’s off stump. 

Ben Compton, making his third appearance of the County Championship campaign, looked assured in defence when he joined Slater, though, albeit barren spells made for a tight affair. 

Raine, in particular, bowled with commendable accuracy to concede just eight runs - two fours - from his first spell of six overs. 

It was Rushworth who harvested the fruits of Durham’s economical work in the 26th over, when Compton hung his bat at a ball on the line of fifth stump, and the ball flew at a comfortable height to Scott Borthwick at second slip. 

The right-handed Clarke, returning from precautionary isolation, used his feet in an effort to nullify the movement of Rushworth, and it paid dividends as a barrage of dot balls were interceded with multiple boundaries to keep the scoreboard moving for the visitors.

Slater, too, found the rope with regularity, and the 29-year-old brought up his 600th County Championship run of the season shortly before clipping Rushworth through mid-wicket for his half-century, elevating Notts to 94 for two.  

Their 71-run partnership was ended with the final ball of the 43rd over, when Raine finally got the reward for his efforts by uprooting Slater’s middle stump in emphatic fashion.

Despite potential for mounting pressure, the intriguing decision to minimise the boundary size meant that, despite some miserly bowling, Clarke and Academy graduate Lyndon James could break any shackles with relative ease, the former batting with a typically positive approach. 

The 25-year-old looked sure to reach his own half-century but for some misfortune, when some uneven bounce caused him to chop Matt Salisbury onto his own stumps two short of his fifty, and James fell seven overs later when Raine, the pick of the Durham bowlers, caused a ball to straighten and clip the bails with Notts on 171. 

Steven Mullaney and Patterson-White guided the visitors through to the tea interval at 185 for five, and lapped up the opportunity to accelerate the scoring after the break. 

Both naturally inclined to attack, the pair flayed shots both sides of the wicket and turned the pressure back on the hosts following a nip and tuck opening two sessions. The addition of 38 runs in seven overs after tea was the reward for their aggression. 

Mullaney fell for 39 as danger of the new ball loomed, however, edging Raine to Eckersley behind the stumps in the 74th over.

Not to be deterred, Patterson-White continued his onslaught, amassing 16 from just two overs before the new ball brought about the demise of his partner Joey Evison, trapped leg-before by Rushworth for his third after Notts had gained their second batting point. 

With 13 overs remaining of the day, the all-rounder brought up his half-century from 70 deliveries, and pressed on with confidence with Hutton, Broad and Fletcher for company, all of whom offered stout resistance as the Green and Gold surpassed the runs required for a third batting point.