Notts on top but heading for draw

James Taylor and Riki Wessels hit half-centuries as Nottinghamshire claimed a first-innings lead over Northamptonshire in Division One.

But with more time lost on a rain-hit third day at Trent Bridge, the contest appeared destined for a draw.

At the close Nottinghamshire were 259 for five, 11 runs ahead, with Wessels unbeaten on 78.

That was the same individual score as Taylor hit in leading Notts' recovery from 30 for three.

Nottinghamshire had slipped into such trouble after wrapping up the visitors' first innings for 248 within 19 balls of the resumption.

Maurice Chambers and Azharullah were the last men to fall, both to Andy Carter, for the addition of just seven runs to the overnight total.

Alex Hales, Phil Jaques and Michael Lumb all fell cheaply as Notts began their response.

But Taylor, overlooked for England's limited-overs squads but still in contention for a Test spot, changed the momentum.

He put on 91 for the fourth wicket with Samit Patel (30) and brought up his half-century amid a flurry of four boundaries in five balls.

His partnership with Wessels was also worth 91 when he fell lbw to spinner James Middlebrook after a 151-ball knock that included 11 fours.

Wessels kept up the pressure and had hit 11 fours and a six in his innings when the latest of several showers during the day's play brought an early close. Captain Chris Read was also unbeaten on 17 at stumps.