Lancashire are battling to avoid defeat in their ongoing County Championship match against Warwickshire, which is three days old at Edgbaston.
The Red Rose, replying to Warwickshire's first innings score of 557-6 declared, were bowled out for 197 in their first innings this afternoon before being asked to follow-on by Jim Troughton.
Paul Horton then posted his first half-century of 2012 in a Lancashire shirt as he shared a heartening second-wicket stand of 89 with Karl Brown, who also added a composed 45.
Horton reached 56 not out and Steven Croft four when bad light brought a premature end to the day with nine overs still to be bowled and Lancashire on 122-3 from 42 overs of their second innings, still trailing by 238 runs.
"This is an opportunity for us to save a game, and it would be a good result considering the way they've played and the way we've played in this fixture," said a confident Horton, whose first Championship hundred since April 2010 would do wonders for Lancashire's survival bid tomorrow.
"We have to apply ourselves better with the bat, build bigger partnerships and score more runs. We're trying to get a draw and take the momentum into our next few games.
"It's nice to get a fifty, but saving the game is the real key for me. I haven't been getting in too often this season. When I have, I've got out pretty quickly. It's been tricky early on with some tricky wickets and decent bowling, but that's cricket."
Ashwell Prince top-scored in Lancashire's first innings with 87 not out off 173 balls, batting through the first half of the day having resumed this morning with Gareth Cross for company and the visitors on 61-5.
Prince, who later lofted his only six over long-on off New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel's bowling, shared an innings high partnership of 45 for the sixth wicket with the wicketkeeper.
The pair took the score to 99 before Cross chipped Chris Woakes' third ball of the morning to Will Porterfield at mid-wicket for eleven.
Ajmal Shahzad had reached 13 when he launched Patel to long-on, where home captain Troughton clung on to the catch at the third attempt after running back from mid-on, leaving Lancashire at 124-7.
Glen Chapple fell caught behind as he tried to hook Chris Wright in 59th over, just before Prince hit his six.
Prince and Simon Kerrigan shared 35 for the ninth wicket to take their side to the cusp of a first batting point, but Lancashire's left-arm spinner departed when he edged Patel behind to Tim Ambrose.
And when Gary Keedy was adjudged lbw with the very next ball, Lancashire faced the prospect of following on and Patel the prospect of a hat-trick when he bowled later in the day, which was ultimately not achieved.
Patel, Wright and Woakes all finished with three wickets, with Woakes' 3-20 from eleven overs the pick.
Lancashire's sixth wicket of the day to fall, and their first in the second innings, was that of Stephen Moore. He edged Woakes to Varun Chopra at first slip with the score on 13 midway through the fifth.
Horton and Brown then took the side beyond 100 as Warwickshire's attack looked at its least threatening in gloomy conditions, Horton flicking, clipping and cutting well and Brown looking strong on the drive.
But the latter fell caught behind to Wright with the first ball of the 34th over before Prince was caught at slip by Rikki Clarke with the first ball of the 35th off Patel's spin, taking the score from 102-1 to 102-3.
Reports: Day 1 I Day 2
Photo of Paul Horton reaching his half century (c) Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd