High five for Anderson at OT
Lancashire and England bowler James Anderson recovered from illness and injury to claim five for 82 against Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford.
But the visitors ended day three on course for victory.
By the close, Chris Read's attack had reduced Lancashire to an abject 39 for five, still 289 runs short of their distant victory target of 328.
As well as Anderson, more encouragement for the England selectors was the sight of Stuart Broad going a long way towards proving his fitness ahead of the West Indies Tests by removing Paul Horton for a second-ball duck and Karl Brown for seven in an accurate new-ball spell.
Then his team-mate Graeme Swann had Ashwell Prince caught at slip for 14 in his first over, a wicket which was sandwiched by Andre Adams accounting for Stephen Moore and Steven Croft.
It may only have been the fact that bad light at Old Trafford ended play 21 overs early which prevented Read's bowlers completing their victory inside three days.
By contrast to the visitors Lancashire look a shadow of the side which won the 2011 Championship and are on the brink of losing three of their first four matches in defence of their title.
Nottinghamshire's evening breakthroughs allowed them to build on a productive first half of the day in which fifties by Michael Lumb and Read helped them make 304 in their second innings.
That total would have been larger had not Anderson dismissed four of the last five batsmen as Notts lost their last six wickets for 39 runs. And while the Burnley fast bowler enjoyed catching Broad off Simon Kerrigan, he probably derived greater satisfaction from exacting his revenge on close friend Swann, whom he bowled for 12.
Anderson also had reason to be grateful to his opponents after a confusion over when he would be allowed to bowl after his illness on Thursday had been resolved by a compromise which only delayed his participation by 11 minutes.
Nottinghamshire's early dominance was firmly established by two vital partnerships between the middle-order batsmen. The most productive of these was a 100-run stand for the fifth wicket between James Taylor and his skipper Read, but Lumb, who made 62, and Samit Patel did much of the hard work in a testing morning session by putting on 76 for the third wicket.
Horton compounded Lancashire's problems by dropping both Taylor and Read after lunch.
By mid-afternoon when Taylor had been caught down the leg side off Kerrigan for 46 and Read had been brilliantly taken by Gareth Cross off Anderson for 54, his sixth half-century against Lancashire, Nottinghamshire's lead was already a formidable 312.
Anderson quickly added the wicket of Paul Franks to his bag and returned after a rain break to take a hand in the dismissals of his England team-mates as Nottinghamshire suffered a collapse which should have little impact on the outcome of the match.
Notts will hope the weather holds on Saturday when they will look to complete their third Championship in five matches this season.