In a game packed with more internationals than you could shake a stick at, it was a man who hasn’t received full international honours who stole the show on Day One at Trent Bridge.
Jack Brooks claimed four wickets as Nottinghamshire collapsed from a commanding position to hand Yorkshire the early advantage in this highly-anticipated clash between two Division One title contenders.
At a ground that almost always swings, under cloudy skies that aid swing and with a generous breeze that helps swing bowlers, it seemed a no-brainer to Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale to elect to field first.
That’s just what he did, but when the ball barely moved at all and Nottinghamshire stormed to 77 without loss in no time he’d have been questioning his decision.
On 132-2, Nottinghamshire would have been delighted with their morning but the wicket of Steven Mullaney on the eve of tea shifted momentum. From there, Yorkshire dominated the afternoon session, taking another five wickets before tea and dismissing their hosts shortly after for 261.
They had bowled with great intelligence, adapting to the lack of swing and adjusting their style to get precious wickets, while Adil Rashid again shone with his leg spin.
Bad light saved Yorkshire from having to face a testing final session and Jason Gillespie’s side will return tomorrow in the ascendancy.
When Alex Hales and Steven Mullaney had racked up 77 runs without losing a wicket in just 15 overs, Gale might have had a few choice words for himself for electing to bowl but also for his bowling attack.
David Willey, on debut, and Brooks served up a feast of half-volleys which were gratefully dispatched to the Trent Bridge fence at will.
But Brooks regrouped and returned for his second spell with renewed energy and got the breakthrough with his first ball. Hales, looking to secure his spot in England’s Test side, was furious with himself as he slapped a full delivery straight to international team-mate Joe Root at short cover to depart for 36.
Opening partner Mullaney, who hit a 114-ball 113 in the first match against Surrey, marched on at a relentless pace and brought up his half-century from just 52 balls including six fours and two sixes.
He saw another wicket fall at the other end as Greg Smith dragged Brooks onto his stumps for a duck to leave Notts 89-2 after 19.3 overs.
Yorkshire had fought back well, dragging their length back, hitting the pitch and finding some joy. Steven Patterson was bowling a nagging line and length and got his reward when Mullaney attempted another big drive and edged to Alex Lees at first slip who caught it at the second attempt.
The opener was on his way for a superb 78 from 80 balls and the wicket forced an early lunch with the hosts 132-3.
The afternoon session belonged entirely to Yorkshire as the batting frailties Nottinghamshire showed in defeat to Lancashire last time out emerged again.
Initially after lunch, all was serene for the home side as Michael Lumb and Riki Wessels move the total on to 163-3.
Wessels though would be another to pick out the safe hands of Root when he was dismissed by Plunkett for 12. Then a collapse of four wickets in 10 overs was triggered when Samit Patel was trapped lbw by Adil Rashid in the 53rd over.
When Lumb fell lbw to Brooks one short of a half-century, Notts were stuttering at 201-6 and were again left looking to veteran skipper Chris Read to dig them out of a hole.
But he had no answer to Brooks who snapped up a fourth wicket when the keeper-batsman edged behind for five and Yorkshire were flying when Rashid removed Jake Ball for just seven to leave Notts 225-8 in the 63rd over.
Stuart Broad launched a counter attack before tea and the teams trooped off with the hosts on 238-8. Shortly after the break, Rashid further enhanced his England Test claims when he had a third by trapping Jackson Bird in front for four.
Broad continued to go on the attack in pursuit of valuable last-wicket runs and had made an impressive 36 from 34 balls when he was run out going for a second run. Nottinghamshire were all out for 261 in the 70th over.
On a good pitch, but with difficult overhead conditions Notts had made a solid total having been asked to bat first, but would have been hugely disappointed after the start they made.
Yorkshire were set to face a testing 24 overs at the end of the day, but bad light intervened to call an end to play after the Nottinghamshire innings.