A turning point for Samuels?
It was a day of surprises - unblemished blue skies after a month of rain, West Indies fighting back in fine fashion having seemed damaged beyond repair, a glorious Test century for one of cricket's more wasted talents.
The sunshine had at least been forecast at the start of play. What no-one dared predict was that the tourists would recover from 63-4 and then 136-6 to reach 304 with four wickets still in hand, leaving England so frustrated that James Anderson was seen throwing sunglasses and Graeme Swann booting his home turf.
The source of their ire was perhaps the most unexpected sub-plot of them all. Marlon Samuels has a Test record that is the definition of mediocre - 31 years old, 38 matches, an average of only 30.
His career has been more about infamy than fame - running out Brian Lara in his last ever international innings, being banned for two years for bringing the game into disrepute after a murky business with murkier bookmakers.
Captain Darren Sammy was there to congratilate Marlon Samuels on his third test hundred. Photo: Press Association
His batting rearguard innings at Lord's alongside Shivnarine Chanderpaul had given notice that the ability that saw him given his Test debut at the tender age of 19 might yet remain.
But his 107 not out here at Trent Bridge was several giant leaps further on, an innings that first irritated England and then left them impotent and perplexed.
There was resolve, and there was real class. In partnership with the more liberated Darren Sammy, himself an also-ran producing a performance most thought beyond him, he piled on 150 runs in the last 33 overs of the day.
Whether Samuels has turned a corner in his journey as a Test player is perhaps too bold a claim to make. But he has shown his more callow team-mates at the top of the order what can be done with technique and concentration, and steered his side far closer to parity than seemed possible midway through the afternoon.
"Samuels and Sammy gave us a much better indication of the pitch's true nature than the top order," says Michael Vaughan, former England captain and now Test Match Special pundit.
"This is the best batting pitch I've seen in a long time. I think the par score is around 450 - the bounce is true, there's barely any movement through the air and the outfield is quick.
"Three of the first four wickets that went down were a result of poor thinking and poor technique. Adrian Barath got a good ball, but the others were guilty of playing for the drive at a time when there were three slips and a gully in, and the very strong possibility that Broad and Anderson would get the new ball to move.
"If you're going to drive like that your feet and head have to be perfectly in line. Kirk Edwards had neither in place, and neither did Darren Bravo.
"Sammy played a very nice innings under pressure, both in terms of the match and his own reputation, and Samuels carried on where he left off at Lord's.
"What impressed me was the way the pair attacked in the 10 overs before the new ball. They realised that it was their opportunity to get some runs and they piled them on."
On a day that started so well but ended in increasing and visible frustration for England's bowlers, Tim Bresnan will probably be the most disappointed.
His 21 overs cost him 83 runs with just the wicket of keeper Denesh Ramdin to show for it, 15 boundaries coming as he perhaps strained too hard to find that magic wicket-taking ball.
"Bresnan is a high-quality performer," says Vaughan. "But it's not easy knowing there are quality bowlers like Steven Finn, Graham Onions and Chris Tremlett - when he is fit - waiting in the wings.
"There is the possibility that, in a situation like this, you can go looking for wickets a little too much. It's something Anderson used to do when he was in and out of the team.
"Bresnan doesn't need to do that. England are very consistent in their selection, and rightly so.
"Finn will be in the side sooner rather than later, and he will have a long and successful Test career. But I would have stuck with Bresnan here. He has won all 12 Tests he has played in, and these are conditions that offer little help to a bowler of his type."
At 136-6, West Indies looked almost beyond assistance, certain to go 2-0 down in this three-match series and follow the unedifying example of their predecessors in 2009 and 2007.
That they recovered to the comparative safety of 300-plus speaks loudly of the superior resolve of some of this present vintage. Whether this team can go on to pose a real threat in this match and the series that lie ahead is less certain.
"There is too much quality that is not being utilised," believes Vaughan.
"It's a tall order asking these young players to succeed against the best bowling attack in the world, and I don't see enough of the X-factor there to justify leaving so many other players out.
"Sunil Narine is a quality player, Ramnaresh Sarwan is a quality player. Jerome Taylor can be a real handful for top batsmen, as England found out in 2009. And Chris Gayle has been destroying attacks in the IPL.
"The West Indies management have to find ways of bringing these difficult characters back in. That's what good management is all about - bringing the best out of the materials available to you.
"I'm not sure Gayle can ever truly come back into the Test fold. His mind may be too far away on the IPL. But add Narine to an attack of Kemar Roach, Ravi Rampaul and Taylor, and you have a unit that could take 20 wickets in a match. And then West Indies might just be a different proposition."