For almost an hour yesterday the champions provided sparkling, bring-the-crowds-back county cricket, never mind all the fuss about Twenty20 stuff. Unfortunately, during the time either side Nottinghamshire's play was of a much different hue. By the end of the third day they had lost their first match of the season.
That they got as close as a nine-wicket defeat to Sussex was solely because of Andre Adams' pyrotechnics. Sensing that the game might be up, Adams brought out the kitchen sink along with his bat and threw it.
Adams, now recognised more for his seam bowling, has always been a biffer. His 42 one-day internationals for New Zealand brought him fleeting fame for his approach and only six players who have played as many matches have a higher scoring rate.
The leg-side assault which brought him four sixes and seven fours was a thrilling diversion. Until then Sussex's proficient bowling, not least from the muscular James Anyon, had rather embarrassed them. Adams scored 64 of the 80 for Nottinghamshire's eighth wicket which stretched a negligible lead into something that might have given Sussex a tricky pursuit.
In the event it did no such thing as Chris Nash scored his fifth successive 50, none of which he has converted into a hundred. Nothing troubled his in-form serenity until he decided to have a dash at Samit Patel and offered Chris Read the sort of stumping opportunity he has for breakfast.
Patel was the talk of the match. He made his second fifty of it as Nottinghamshire sought to rectify the requirement to follow on. Although he was out softly, cutting a long hop from Monty Panesar, that was not the point. He has been recalled by England's selectors after a two-year absence because of his lack of fitness and will appear for the Lions next week against the Sri Lankans at Derby. Patel has apparently succeeded in meeting the standards set for him.
If it might be unkind to suggest that this has entailed cutting his chocolate bar consumption from five bars a day to two, the selectors always maintained that they were looking only for an effort to take his weight in the right direction not athletic perfection. His runs in this match as well as his four wickets encourage the belief that he might garner full one-day honours again.
But it is also possible to entertain the thought that if England wanted to play two spinners in a Test Patel's left-arm spin, complemented by his batting, might be a smarter bet than Panesar's.
Sussex cantered to victory here. Ed Joyce was unbeaten 12 short of his third hundred of the summer, and Luke Wells, off his pair with a six, were in easy control.