Nottinghamshire face an uphill task on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl.

Set to score a nominal 511 for victory, they reached the close of the third day on 128 for four.

Kraigg Brathwaite, playing his first match for the county, scored 48 and Steven Mullaney remains unbeaten on 29, having added 43 late in the day with Riki Wessels.

Earlier, the home side took their second innings total to 399 for seven before declaring in the early stages of the afternoon.

Tom Alsop top-scored for Hampshire, making 99 before falling to Mark Footitt, who took three for 69.

The day began with the home county resuming from their overnight score of 253 for four, an overall lead of 364.

Sunny overhead conditions aided the batting side as Alsop and Rilee Rossouw extended their fifth wicket partnership during the first hour of play.

They added 75, including 10 taken from two overs of off-spin from Brathwaite, as the lead stretched beyond 400.

Luke Fletcher, armed with the second new ball, made the breakthrough around midday, trapping Rossouw lbw for 36.

Alsop crawled through the 90s and had a slight scare on 97 when he almost cut Footitt to Matt Carter at backward point – the ball falling just short of the fielder.

He re-grouped to take two from the next ball but then repeated the earlier shot and was scooped up low down by Carter in exactly the same position.

Four overs later Footitt struck again, with Gareth Berg driving straight onto the hands of Brathwaite at short extra for nine.

Either side of lunch Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott put on 63 to take the lead beyond 500 and through to the declaration.

Brathwaite and Jake Libby stayed together for 12 overs as Notts began their act of defiance with 68 overs to be bowled in the day.

Without the injured Dale Steyn, off the field with a groin injury, Abbott was quickly introduced into the attack and bowled Libby for 15 after an opening stand of 31.

One over later Chris Nash was given out lbw to Dawson’s spin for two.

Samit Patel was also out before tea, leaving Notts on 53 for three after he pulled Fidel Edwards to Rossouw at short midwicket for nine.

Brathwaite looked composed and confident in the heat of the late afternoon sun. Driving crisply in the ‘V’ and running hard, he put on 32 in 17 overs with his captain.

Dawson broke the stand with 20 overs remaining in the day by having the West Indian caught at gully by Berg.

Mullaney and Wessels ensured that there would be no further dramas by safely negotiating the final passage of play.

With another dry day forecast, Notts will need their two experienced batsmen to be at their very best if they are to forge a result.


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