Samit Patel and James Taylor’s 202-run partnership provided the bulk of Nottinghamshire’s 377 all out on the opening day against LV= County Champions Durham.
Patel fell one run short of his century while Taylor hit 88 to help Notts recover from a wretched start that saw the hosts reeling on 29 for three at Trent Bridge.
Chris Read also played his part, making an unbeaten 59 before number 11 Andre Adams was caught in the final over to wrap up an intriguing opening day.
England duo Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes were both in action, returning from knee and hand injuries respectively and with varying success.
Stokes took 3-70, including the vital scalps of both Patel and Taylor, but Broad was less influential as he was dismissed for a duck.
Notts gain their first batting point, thanks to back-to-back fours from Samit Patel. He reaches 87, Taylor 77 and Notts 201-3 #NottsvDurham
— Nottinghamshire CCC (@TrentBridge) May 25, 2014
The hosts elected to bat but made the worst possible start when Steven Mullaney was out off the first ball of the match, nicking Chris Rushworth into the gloves of wicketkeeper Phil Mustard.
Things went downhill from there as both Phil Jaques and Michael Lumb fell to Usman Arshad, leaving Durham firmly in the driving seat.
From there, however, the contest took an altogether different turn as Taylor and Patel arrived at the crease and skilfully steered Nottinghamshire back into the game.
Patel, whose 99 came in 141 balls and included 13 fours and one six, fell agonisingly short of a deserved ton as Gareth Breese held on to give Stokes much-needed breakthrough.
Having negotiated 277 balls together, Taylor fell in exactly the same manner 14 deliveries later and Notts were 232 for five.
With the momentum swinging back in Durham's favour, Riki Wessels did well to steady the ship before being caught and bowled by Gavin Main for 23, one of three debut wickets for the Scottish seamer.
Main, 20, then rearranged Broad's stumps and Nottinghamshire’s tail was exposed on 281 for seven.
Durham were eying a score of under 300 but Peter Siddle had other ideas as he blasted a quickfire 31.
Stokes trapped his winter Ashes rival leg before and Main rounded off 3-72 as Ajmal Shahzad lofted to Michael Richardson
Adams reduced Read to a virtual watching brief during a typically belligerent 19 but Breese took his fourth catch of the innings and second off Arshad to conclude a pulsating day.