Ricky Ponting made 29 in his penultimate first-class innings as Surrey were bowled out by Nottinghamshire for 198 on the opening day of the LV= County Championship Division One clash.
Choosing to bat on a dry and sluggish pitch which appears ready to take more spin as the game goes on, Surrey fell short in their first innings before watching Notts put their effort into perspective by reaching 50 without loss in an hour's batting before the close.
Without a classy 57 from opener Rory Burns and a fighting 65 not out by wicketkeeper Steven Davies, who fought a lone battle in the second half of the innings, Surrey would have been in even deeper trouble.
Burns, Surrey's leading championship run-scorer this season, included seven fours in his 115-ball knock - several of them clinical drives down the ground against the Nottinghamshire seamers.
But, once he edged an attempted leg-glance off Harry Gurney behind to Chris Read from the final ball before lunch, only Davies found anything like the same fluency.
Arun Harinath and Vikram Solanki both went cheaply in the morning session, the former smartly held low down by Samit Patel at second slip for four pushing at Ajmal Shahzad and the latter beaten by Andre Adams' off-cutter to be lbw for eight.
Ponting, on 23 at lunch after a 51-run stand with Burns, struggled through 68 balls, hitting just three boundaries. When the former Australia captain played defensively forward to Patel's left-arm spin, he was comfortably caught off bat and pad by Riki Wessels.
Zander de Bruyn was caught behind off Shahzad for 16, swishing at a wide one, and Surrey were 173 for six at tea when, on the stroke of the interval, Zafar Ansari was taken off the face of the bat at short-leg as he tried to flick away a ball from left-arm spinner Graeme White.
Things got worse for Surrey almost immediately after tea as Gareth Batty departed for a duck when nicking his third ball, from left-arm paceman Gurney, to Read.
Chris Tremlett, having seen Davies through to a deserved 87-ball fifty, initially failed to respond to his partner's call for a single to short third-man and was run out for nought at the bowler's end.
Jade Dernbach edged White to Read, propping forward, and Gary Keedy became Surrey's fourth lower-order duck in a row when he was yorked eighth ball by Shahzad. Davies could only look on in bemusement, having faced 102 balls and hit six fours.
The Nottinghamshire bowlers, who performed excellently as a unit, shared the spoils - Shahzad the pick with 3-43, Gurney 2-37, White 2-24 and Patel and Adams a wicket apiece.
In 18 overs' batting in the late afternoon sunshine, Wessels and Steven Mullaney played with great discipline to both reach 22 not out and set the seal on a fine day's work for the visitors.