Hampshire’s County Championship division two clash at Northamptonshire looks almost certain to end in a draw after neither side grabbed the initiative on day three.
With the first day washed out because of rain, too much time already appears to have been lost to have any real hope of forcing a result.
Unless a clatter of wickets takes place early on the final day, the game looks set to end in a stalemate as Northants closed on 159 for five - 47 runs behind Hampshire’s first innings total of 206.
Liam Dawson, who turned in a disciplined knock to help Jimmy Adams’ side out of trouble, was eventually dismissed for 76 as they lost their final five wickets for just 27 runs.
Kyle Coetzer then struck a half-century as he hit 59 from 142 deliveries.
Hampshire began the day on 149 for five with Dawson resuming his innings on 57 and Michael Roberts on two.
Roberts, however, only moved on to 12 before he was trapped lbw to give Muhammad Azhar Ullah his first wicket on his Championship debut in the 74th over.
Having batted so diligently, Dawson then threw his wicket away in the following over when he thrashed former South Africa all-rounder Andrew Hall straight to David Sales at mid-on.
Hampshire then lost a third wicket in just 14 deliveries when David Balcombe, who faced 11 balls without scoring, was taken by Sales at third slip off Azhar Ullah.
Chris Wood (seven) edged to Hall at first slip before David Willey finished off Hampshire’s innings by bowling Danny Briggs for 10.
Northants lost Matthew Spriegel in the seventh over of their reply when he was pinned lbw by James Tomlinson after making just three.
Sales then walked for 15 when he edged Sean Ervine’s delivery down the leg side and was well taken by Adam Wheater.
James Vince removed Northants captain Alex Wakely (seven) and Coetzer was to perish after a hard-earned 59 when he nudged Briggs to Wheater.
Rob Newton (21) fell to Wood but Hall and James Middlebrook then batted out the remaining 11 overs without incident as another game looks set to peter out.