Nottinghamshire have hit back after surrendering a sizeable first-innings lead on day three of their clash with Somerset at Trent Bridge.
Resuming the day on 195-8 following Somerset’s 312, the hosts added 31 runs for their final two wickets for an 86-run deficit.
But Somerset’s second dig has been beset by problems and they are 134-8 at tea for a lead of 220 and a potentially gripping conclusion.
Vernon Philander bowled Marcus Trescothick for a five-ball duck to leave the visitors 4-1 before the weather closed in to send the players scurrying.
Once they returned, Philander picked up where he left off to remove Johann Myburgh for a six-ball duck at 4-2, and Luke Wood then took over, trapping both Tom Abell and Cooper lbw to leave the visitors 36-4 at lunch.
Four more wickets fell in regular succession throughout the afternoon session and Nottinghamshire will hope to begin an exciting run-chase before the close tonight.
Nick Compton is holding things together for Middlesex as they inch closer to avoiding the follow-on against Hampshire at the AGEAS Bowl.
Compton is 106no on the south coast, hitting 17 fours on his way to his 23rd first-class century to help his side to 250-6 in their first-innings following Hampshire’s formidable 413.
Resuming the day on 102-3, the visitors saw James Franklin trapped in front bty Fidel Edwards before Neil Dexter suffered the same fate to Gareth Berg, leaving them 178-5 at lunch.
Compton was given good support by John Simpson in the afternoon before the latter nicked Sean Ervine behind at 211-6.
Ervine currently has incredibly economical figures of 2-17 from his 13 overs.
Durham face a huge battle to avoid defeat after being reduced to 53-2 in their second innings having been forced to follow-on by Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
The teams have taken an early tea because of rain and the hosts will be eager to get back out and force a result inside three days after earlier dismissing Durham for 185.
Play was delayed this morning because of the weather, but once the players did take the field, Durham failed to steady matters having been reduced to 50-3 at stumps last night.
After Calum McLeod was bowled by Richard Jones, Keith Barker took over with three wickets to dismiss Michael Richardson, Phil Mustard and Paul Coughlin.
That left them 91-7, which became 125-8 when John Hastings was adjudged lbw to Rikki Clarke and only a spirited fightback from Paul Collingwood (66no) and Chris Rushworth (15no) – who added 57 in 6.1 overs before lunch – prevented further success for the hosts.
But once Rushworth was bowled by Jones, Collingwood quickly followed – bowled by Boyd Rankin – and Barker has since removed both Keaton Jennings and Scott Borthwick to leave Durham in the mire.
Four games ongoing in Division Two and Northants v Surrey has finally got going after a day and a half of grim weather.
Northants are 90-2 at the County Ground having lost the toss and been inserted, with Stephen Peters 58no from just 68 balls. Rob Newton has made a similarly spritely start to his innings alongside him, reaching 19no from 17 balls.
Elsewhere, Kent look likely to take a slender first-innings lead in their clash with Gloucestershire at Sophia Gardens.
After dismissing their hosts for just 193 on day one, Kent are 178-7 thanks to a crucial unbroken 80-run eighth-wicket stand between Calum Haggett (40no) and Matt Coles (40no).
Earlier, they lost Joe Denly (4) to David Payne early before Liam Norwell removed Daniel Bell-Drummond and Brendan Nash.
Kieran Noema-Barnett then had Fabian Cowdrey lbw for 6, leaving Sam Northeast and Darren Stevens as their main hopes for scraping a first-innings lead.
But when Norwell bowled Northeast for 21, Kent were 80-6, which became 98-7 when David Payne Sam Billings, so Haggett and Coles have been forced to dig their county out of a hole.
Essex have made a promising start to their first-innings against Glamorgan, reaching tea 50-0 having dismissed their hosts for 314 at Sophia Gardens.
Glamorgan suffered an early setback on day two as they lost opener Jacques Rudolph (82) to James Porter.
However, a 92-run stand between Graham Wagg and Craig Meschede softened the blow, with although Wagg (47) eventually trapped in front by David Masters before Meschede (68) was removed by David Masters after a breezy 68 from 52 balls that included seven fours and four sixes.
That helped Glamorgan to 314, leaving Essex with two overs to negotiate before lunch, which they did successfully to reach the break 3-0.
And Nick Browne and Jaik Mickleburgh have since moved serenely on to set up a solid platform for the visitors.
Poor weather at Grace Road prevented Leicestershire from continuing their first innings on time on day three of their clash with Lancashire, but they have since moved their 195-6 to 249-9 in reply to the visitors’ 368.
Tom Wells was the first man out today, adjudged lbw to Kyle Jarvis for seven, but Mark Cosgrove (79) remained defiant amid the showers to ensure they avoided the follow-on only for Nathan Buck to trap him lbw at 245-8.
That became 245-9 when Clint Mckay nicked Kyle Jarvis behind three balls later, leaving the Foxes facing the prospect of a large first-innings deficit.