The stage is set for an enticing fourth and final day of Vitality County Championship cricket at Trent Bridge, as Nottinghamshire’s contest with Hampshire hangs finely in the balance after another eventful day.

Half-tons from Jack Haynes and Joe Clarke led another important recovery with the bat for the hosts, who were dismissed for 209 on the stroke of tea as Hampshire were set a target of 169 runs to win.

Bowlers continued to dominate in the final run-chase, Hants restricted to 84/5 at the close of play with Dillon Pennington, Dane Paterson and Lyndon James amongst the wickets.

Ben Slater and Will Young resumed Notts’ second innings on another radiant day in West Bridgford, but they were unable to harness the sunny conditions to their fullest and were sent walking for the expense of five runs, Young caught behind for 14 with Slater following two overs later after Kyle Abbott struck his pads.

Clarke and Haynes paired up to assemble the most important partnership of the innings, adding 96 to the total with Clarke clinching his fifty before his ill-fated swipe went through to wicketkeeper Ben Brown for another scalp for Muhammad Abbas.

Haynes too made a crucial fifty with the help of Lyndon James at the other end, but he fell to short leg as the game continued to move at pace.

The introduction of Felix Organ and Liam Dawson turned the screw further for Hampshire; James and Calvin Harrison both tallied scores in the low twenties, but the lower order were unable to add further vital runs to the Nottinghamshire total.

The Green and Golds posted 209, setting their visitors a target of 169 to win with a session of play still remaining on day three.

A quick start was needed to place Notts in pole position for the victory and skipper Haseeb Hameed produced a brilliant one-handed grab to dismiss Ali Orr and give Pennington his first wicket of the Hampshire innings.

Anything Hameed could do though, Harrsion could do just as well as the spinner plucked the ball out of the sky at second clip to see the back of Organ and leave Hampshire 15/2, Pennington again the beneficiary.

The Nottinghamshire bowling attack continued to apply pressure with James taking the crucial wicket of Dawson either side of Paterson trapping James Vince lbw for six and bowling Ben Brown for just two.

Fletcha Middleton and James Fuller saw out the day for Hampshire with the visitors still needing 85 runs for victory while Nottinghamshire require five wickets.