Nottinghamshire will face a stiff target when their run chase eventually gets underway against Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley.
After two days of their Specsavers County Championship fixture the home county are 189 for four in their second innings, holding a healthy overall advantage of 257 over Notts.
Gary Ballance, the hosts’ skipper, reached stumps unbeaten on 76, with Jack Leaning remaining undefeated on 37. The pair batted throughout the final session and have added 94 together for the fifth wicket.
Earlier, Notts had been bowled out for 188, a total that had seemed unrealistic once they had been reduced to 130-8. Ross Taylor top-scored with 57 and Jake Ball finished on 44 not out.
Under clear blue skies Notts resumed their first innings on 53 for four at the start of the day, with Ross Taylor and Riki Wessels continuing their unbroken fifth wicket partnership.
Taylor had looked in impressive touch on the first evening, rattling along to an unbeaten 34, helped by three successive fours from the bowling of Ben Coad.
Wessels, who scored the winning single in last week’s success over Lancashire, restarted on eight. A profitable opening 45 minutes ended when Taylor was dismissed in Coad’s first over of the day, nicking to Jack Leaning at third slip.
The New Zealand international had registered his half century from 62 balls, with nine boundaries, during a stand which was eventually worth 61.
Coad and Leaning combined again a couple of overs later, as Tom Moores came and went quickly for one.
Tim Bresnan took the next two wickets to fall, also to catches in the cordon. Luke Wood (17) was held low down by Adam Lyth and Leaning’s third catch – his sharpest – ended Wessels’ stay on 40.
Jake Ball took the fight to the home side and went on the offensive in glorious style, hitting Jack Brooks for four fours in a row. His stand with Luke Fletcher was within one of a half century when Brooks fielded sharply off his own bowling to run out Fletcher for eight.
Harry Gurney (2) was last out, lofting Coad to cover, to leave Ball still searching for his maiden first class fifty.
Ball the batsman, reverted to his normal day job immediately after lunch, snaring the wicket of Alex Lees for the second time in the game. The left-hander hadn’t got off the mark when he shouldered arms to a delivery from around the stumps that clattered into his pads.
Yorkshire could have been in deeper trouble but Cheteshwar Pujara was reprieved on nought by a diving Wessels, who did well to get a hand to the nick off Ball.
As on the first day, calling wasn’t all it should be between Pujara and Adam Lyth and it was no real surprise when they ran into difficulties and presented Notts with a second wicket.
Gurney’s ball to Lyth was played down into the crease – Pujara set off running but his partner didn’t respond. Jake Libby dashed in from point and under-armed back for the bowler to complete the run out. The Indian Test star was demonstrably unhappy about the manner of his dismissal.
As on the first day Harry Brook impressed with a vast array of attacking shots; which included a mighty straight six off the spin of Samit Patel.
He put on 58 for the fourth wicket with Gary Ballance before losing his middle stump to the returning Ball for 35.
Ballance reached his 50 from 90 balls, with seven boundaries, and enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Leaning that kept Notts at bay throughout the final session.
With some indifferent weather forecast overnight, it remains to be seen how the conditions will fare at the start of the third day.
Notts Outlaws begin their T20 Blast title defence at Trent Bridge on 4 July against Birmingham Bears. Tickets are £10 in advance – book now and save money…