Nottinghamshire will begin day four of their LV County Championship match against Durham on the verge of an innings defeat after suffering a batting collapse orchestrated by discarded England paceman Steve Harmison.

Harmison took 6-20 with Nottinghamshire offering little resistance in slipping to 79-9 following on, still 106 runs short of Durham’s first innings total.

Eight down at lunch, heavy rain prevented Mark Ealham and Ryan Sidebottom from returning to the field until just before 4pm but after Sidebottom edged to Mustard off Plunkett, no further play was possible.

“We’re staring down the barrel unfortunately, there’s not a lot to be drawn from this game and we’ve been thoroughly outplayed,”said Notts captain Chris Read.

“I’d like to think we could have bowled them out for less than 350 on the first day. I was disappointed with our first innings batting because par was 250 to 300 and the way we’ve come out following on hasn’t been good at all.

“We haven’t batted anywhere near well enough but credit to the Durham bowlers who have put pressure on us.”

Matt Wood and Mark Wagh both fell in a fruitful opening spell from Mark Davies to leave Notts on 19-2. Bilal Shafayat (12), Samit Patel (14) and Mark Ealham (17 not out) made it into double figures but with Charlie Shreck for company, only more rain can prevent Durham from securing the win.