Hampshire 70 for 3 trail Nottinghamshire 302 (Patel 73, Wessels 54, Edwards 4-84) by 232 runs Scorecard
Cricket made a belated return to Trent Bridge, where ongoing building work forced Nottinghamshire to play their first three matches away, but it was not long before the first anguished cries of "Oh! Samit" were heard.
Samit Patel has entertained and exasperated in equal measure throughout a 16 year county career which was encapsulated in the skittish innings he played here.
Patel laid the foundations for a competitive total despite occasionally struggling for fluency but his application against Fidel Edwards' testing and skiddy pace was counter-balanced by two of those "Oh! Samit" moments that have often tested the patience and humour of Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire's director of cricket .
The first came just before lunch when Patel ran out Ross Taylor, who appeared to be easing towards his third half century in four innings. Patel clipped Liam Dawson mid-on and ambled halfway down the pitch before realising that the ball had not beaten Hashim Amla. Patel turned but it was too late for Taylor who was beaten by a short head by his partner as both batsmen arrived at the striker's end while Dawson removed the bails at the other.
"It was a misunderstanding. I can see the funny side of it now to be honest," Patel said."We know these things happen in cricket and Ross knows that. I actually thought the ball had beaten Hashim."
Patel stood mortified, then swished his bat in self-admonishment while Taylor trudged back to the pavilion. Patel apologised to Taylor over lunch but his own innings became more scratchy after he had reached a 51-ball half century.
He spent 41 balls over his next 23 runs and was dropped by Amla in the slips off Chris Wood before Hampshire set an obvious trap and Patel took the bait when Edwards switched to the Pavilion End. Edwards put two men back for the hook, dug one in and Patel, hoping to clear the longest boundary, succeeded only in picking out Brad Wheal at deep square.
"I don't think it was a very good shot, but it might have stuck in the wicket a little bit," Patel said. "There's always a man there either for the flick shot or the pull shot and it's something we should probably address going into the second innings."
Patel's soft dismissal left Nottinghamshire with plenty of work to do before they were able to justify Steven Mullaney's decision to bat first on a green-tinged pitch. It required a battling half century from Riki Wessels, contrasting cameos from Tom Moores and Stuart Broad and some unlikely resistance from Harry Gurney.
Moores progressed mainly through inside and inadvertent edges - he twice found the third man boundary trying to leave deliveries - while Broad gave a passable imitation of David Gower with some languid off drives.
Broad eventually perished when he shovelled Wheal to midwicket trying to clear the invitingly short boundary on the Bridgford Road side and Nottinghamshire were 25 short of a third batting point when Wessels was ninth out, also taken at deep square.
But Gurney, an old-fashioned number eleven, made his second important contribution as a batsman in a week. At Worcester on Monday he held up an end while Luke Fletcher scored the runs Nottinghamshire needed to reach 300 and a declaration. Here Gurney played more shots and helped Jake Ball to secure a valuable extra point.
Having contributed with the bat, Nottinghamshire's pace bowlers then got on with their normal work. Broad produced an accurate and brisk opening spell from the Pavilion End which had Jimmy Adams, with Chanderpaul-esque stance, caught behind and Joe Weatherley at third slip - and at the third attempt - by Taylor.
"Stuart is a world class bowler, he knows exactly what he needs to do to be ready for that first Test Match and he's raring to go for us," Patel said.
James Vince managed to see off Broad but not Luke Fletcher who followed two looseners with a full length delivery that pinned Vince lbw.
Despite the efforts of Patel and Broad a crowd of almost 2,200 reserved their warmest applause for Fletcher on his first appearance at Trent Bridge in 10 months following his recovery from severe concussion.