Nottinghamshire’s Steven Mullaney scored 82 against former county Lancashire but he could not prevent the hosts enjoying the better of day two in this evenly poised LV= County Championship match at Liverpool.

The Division One title chasers responded to the Red Rose county’s 225 with 261 all out inside 88 overs, a score which Mullaney underpinned with 12 fours in 149 balls having been dropped four times.

Lancashire, faced with 30 overs of batting before close, reached 55 for two from 13 before bad light interrupted play at 5.30pm. 

"It wasn't my most fluent innings by any means, but it's not my fault I got dropped," said Mullaney. 

"I just tried to make the most of it and luckily today I made them pay and got 80-odd. It would have been nice to get a hundred but coming back and doing well against your former county is always nice.

"I've done alright here and it's a ground I've always enjoyed playing at. You get rewarded if you play well and there's rewards for you as a bowler."

The players did not return and the hosts will begin day three 19 ahead with Ashwell Prince and Usman Khawaja at the crease. Seventeen overs were lost.

Notts would have been in a far stronger position but for a loss of their last five wickets for 26 runs, including their last four for nine in 22 balls.

Lancashire captain Glen Chapple took three of the last four to finish with four for 73 from 22 overs having taken his first wicket five balls into the day when he had Michael Lumb caught behind as the score fell to 69 for two in the 25th.

Mullaney’s fourth life came when Andrea Agathangelou missed a tough diving chance at second slip off Kabir Ali’s first ball with the right-hander on 62 before lunch.

Mullaney, who still plays his club cricket in the Liverpool Competition with Leigh, graduated through the Red Rose ranks before leaving for Trent Bridge at the end of 2009 due to a lack of first-team opportunities.

He even scored two fifties on this Aigburth ground whilst playing for Lancashire seconds against Notts in 2007 and 2009.

Notts had got themselves into a healthy position in testing conditions with two partnerships of 64 - one for the third wicket between Mullaney and James Taylor and one for the sixth between Rikki Wessels and Chris Read.

Wessels and Read advanced the score from 171 for five in the early stages of the afternoon after Tom Smith had struck three times, including Mullaney trapped lbw before lunch.

Wessels made 46 but his dismissal was the first of the five quick wickets as he was caught behind by a juggling Jos Buttler off Steven Croft’s off-spinners with the score on 235 in the 78th.

Chapple, with the second new ball, then bowled Peter Siddle, had Read caught at cover off a top-edged pull and got Luke Fletcher caught at mid-on before Hogg had a swinging Andre Adams caught at deep mid-wicket to wrap up the innings.

Lancashire will be well in the game with a lead of 200 or above but they lost both their openers, Agathangelou and Paul Horton, to overseas seamer Siddle, who is playing his last match before heading home on Cricket Australia orders.

Agathangelou was caught behind in the first over and Horton caught behind in the seventh. 

Stephen Parry, meanwhile, will replace Lancashire’s England bound spinner Simon Kerrigan ahead of the start of day three.