Nottinghamshire edge second day at Trent Bridge
Half-centuries for opener Jake Libby and Samit Patel, added to a handful of other useful contributions, led Nottinghamshire, replying to 276, to a slender first-innings lead on day two at Trent Bridge.
The hosts closed on 303-5 from 83.4 overs, meaning they are 27 runs in front at the halfway stage of the match.
The day, which saw eight overs lost to bad light after tea, started with Lancashire adding three runs to their overnight 276-9.
But Matt Parkinson was trapped lbw by fellow leg-spinner Imran Tahir, the South African who finished with 4-81.
Notts then ensured they have the advantage in this match thanks to a solid batting effort built upon contributions from each of their top six batsmen.
Every one of them reached 30, with Libby going on to make 54 after sharing 86 inside 19 overs for the first wicket with captain Steven Mullaney (43).
He also shared 38 with Greg Smith before being caught behind off Neil Wagner shortly after lunch, leaving the score at 124-2 in the 32nd.
Earlier, Mullaney had played on to Kyle Jarvis to give Lancashire the breakthrough.
Jarvis and Jordan Clark both struck twice apiece for the visitors, who saw Patel reach close at 51 not out.
“Overall we’re a little bit frustrated,” admitted captain Steven Croft. “It was a slightly underperforming Lancs side.
“I don’t think we bowled particularly well, especially first up, and the bowlers admit that.
“I wouldn’t say it’s tough to come back from that, but we felt like we were always clawing it back. The lads did come back well later and could have had a couple more wickets. But, overall, it was disappointing.
“We would have been happy with one late on tonight and the momentum going into tomorrow. But we’ve still got the new ball in the morning. Hopefully we can nip a couple out before the bowlers come in.
“We don’t want them to go too big a lead.
“It looks quite an easy-paced wicket. If we can keep them restricted, the plan is to pile them on and then bowl them out. First, we’ve got to take it session by session.
“The pitch is a little bit slow. There aren’t many games where nobody gets caught at slip, and it’s a little bit batsman error more than anything.
“But if you bowl well, you’ll get rewarded - maybe not wickets wise, but you don’t go anywhere. If you’re off, you seem to go.”
Lancashire struck three times in the afternoon, with Jarvis getting Smith caught behind for 30 as the score slipped to 136-3 in the 35th.
Clark later had Brendan Taylor caught in the gully as he failed to evade an accurate short ball, falling for 37.
Unfortunately, by that stage, Notts had reached 210-4 in the 59th over having seen Taylor put on 74 with left-handed Michael Lumb, who posted 43.
Twice Taylor lofted Parkinson down the ground for six.
Lumb then fell seven short of his fifty shortly after tea when Clark took a one-handed return catch going to his right as Notts fell to 241-5 in the 67th.
Notts gained a first-innings lead in the 75th over, reaching 282-5 with Patel and Riki Wessels in partnership.
There was only one more over possible before bad light stopped play on the same score, meaning a loss of four overs.
When play resumed, however, Patel and Wessels took their side beyond 300, with the former reaching 50 off 77 balls. Wessels will resume tomorrow unbeaten on 25 after more bad light ended play early.
Their partnership currently stands at 62 inside 17 overs.
Lancashire currently have three bonus points in the match to Notts’ six.