Nottinghamshire were set a target of 403 at tea on day three of their Specsavers County Championship match with Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley, only to reach close in tatters at 181 for eight.
It means Yorkshire are almost certain to win their first match of the campaign at the second attempt following last weekend’s Essex abandonment.
The hosts enjoyed a dominant day as they first advanced their second innings from 189 for four overnight to 334 all out before Ben Coad claimed four wickets. Gary Ballance’s watchful 82 off 166 balls was backed up by useful thirties from Jack Leaning and Coad and an unbeaten 107-ball 68 from Tim Bresnan.
This was Bresnan’s highest score since the final game of 2016 when he hit a magnificent 142 against Middlesex at Lord’s in the title decider which famously went the hosts’ way.
Day three started with only eight balls bowled in a morning ruined by rain.Ballance and Leaning put Yorkshire, who started their second innings on day two 68 in front, in control by completing a fifth-wicket stand of 103.
And not even the loss of three wickets in 10 balls for left-arm seamer Harry Gurney during the early afternoon could derail them.
He trapped Leaning lbw for 37 and got Andrew Hodd the same way. Sandwiched in between, Ballance played on to his middle stump as the score fell from 198 for four to 204 for seven.
NNotts had their moments with the ball and in the field throughout the day, highlighted by Gurney’s trio and two fabulous one-handed catches for wicketkeeper Tom Moores
Diving high to his right on both occasions, Moores helped Luke Fletcher get rid of Josh Shaw and Jake Ball remove Jack Brooks, leaving the score at 257 for nine.
However, a lead of 325 would pass 400 as Bresnan and Coad enjoyed some last-wicket fun.
They both hit sixes, with Coad’s over long-off against Samit Patel landing in the building site at the Football Stand End on the way to a career best 33.
Bresnan even struck a pigeon at deep cover with a square drive without doing any damage. By this stage, it was just Notts who were in a flap as they faced up to their highly unlikely victory target.
The visitors made a fast start to their chase, with three boundaries for Steven Mullaney coming off Brooks in the first over.
But they were hurt by the loss of Mullaney lbw to Coad, who later bowled Jake Libby (38) and Patel. Bresnan also had Chris Nash caught behind following extra bounce as the score slipped to 101 for four.
That became 151 for seven just before close when Brooks had Ross Taylor caught behind for 30 and Fletcher bowled in the 33rd and 35th overs.
In the next, Josh Shaw had Riki Wessels caught behind, with the extra half hour even called for.
Coad’s fourth was that of Luke Wood caught in the slips, but the visitors just managed to force a fourth day.