A tense final day is in prospect at Edgbaston where Warwickshire need a further 228, with 8 wickets in hand, to beat Nottinghamshire in their LV= County Championship fixture.
Set to score 289 to win, the home side lost wickets to Peter Siddle and Harry Gurney before the close, to leave both sides with realistic hopes of being able to force a win.
Holding a first innings advantage of 63, Notts fell for just 225 in their second effort, with Chris Woakes taking five for 35.
Phil Jaques had top-scored, making 79 on his final appearance for Notts this season, and Samit Patel added 34, passing 1,000 runs in first class cricket this summer.
Jaques, whose final match it is before leaving for Australia, admitted he would rather be in the Nottinghamshire position than Warwickshire’s.
“I think we’re in a decent position in which to do this tomorrow. Hopefully the boys can start well and get some early wickets. Hopefully there’ll be a bit of reverse swing.
“It’s not the easiest of wickets to bat on and it’s hard to score. It’s one of those wickets where if you put it in good areas you get the results.”
Jaques leaves Notts with almost 900 Championship runs to his credit this season. “I’m happy with my tally,” he said. “But I’m more happy that we are top of the table. Hopefully we can put a little bit more of a gap between ourselves and Yorkshire tomorrow and I can come back next year to join up with the defending champions.”
Notts had begun the day with a just a single on the board at the start of their second innings and with nightwatchman Luke Fletcher and Steven Mullaney at the crease.
Mullaney crunched the first ball of the day, from Woakes, through the off side for an effortless four and the bowler followed up by gifting two more runs with a no-ball.
The opening delivery of the fifth over of the morning saw the end of Fletcher (3), bowled by Woakes as he went back to one that, perhaps, kept a touch low.
Woakes then struck again, with a tinge of good fortune, as Mullaney (10) inside-edged back onto his own stumps, to leave the visitors on 35-2.
Jaques and Alex Hales, Notts’ leading contributors in the first innings, set about rebuilding the innings, against a vastly improved and more accurate attack.
Hales went 40 deliveries before hitting his first boundary but Jaques threw the bat at anything with width and the pair had added 57 together by lunch-time.
Their stand materialised 84 before the Bears managed to dislodge Hales (31) bowled by one that also didn’t get up, from Woakes.
The stumps continued to be hit, as Chris Wright bowled James Taylor (13) and then Boyd Rankin induced Jaques to chop on.
The Australian, playing his final game of this stint with Notts, made 79, having reached his fifty from 89 balls, with 9 fours.
Jeetan Patel deepened Notts’ misery by having Riki Wwssels (9) caught at short leg by Sam Hain and then another inside-edge accounted for Chris Read (8).
Samit Patel, meanwhile, had reached 8 runs and beyond. That meant he had reached 1000 first class runs for the 2014 season, although 65 of them had come for the MCC in the Champion County pink ball match in Abu Dhabi in late March.
The first two overs after tea were the stuff of nightmares. Siddle (8) charged at Jeetan Patel and was stumped by a country mile.
On strike, Samit Patel (34) then refused a single, with Andre Adams as his new partner. The batsman then went for a big hit of his own but could only pick out Keith Barker at mid on, off Woakes.
A little session of cat and mouse eventually ended when Adams (9) picked out Hain on the off side fence, to give Woakes his five-fer, leaving Gurney unbeaten on 6.
Warwickshire’s openers put on 22 together but were parted in the seventh over by Siddle. Varun Chopra (10) went for a vigorous pull but only succeeded in heaving it high to Fletcher at mid on.
Jonathan Trott was met with a barrage of short-pitched deliveries but battled through to stumps with 19 to his name.
He did lose William Porterfield (22) just before the close though, the left-hander given out lbw to Gurney. The Bears sent out Chris Wright (0 not out) as nightwatchman.