Hashim Amla and James Vince gave Hampshire a fighting chance of saving their County Championship division one clash with Somerset at Taunton.
Things looked bleak for the visitors when the home side extended their first innings total from an overnight 324 for seven to 506 all out on Sunday.
James Hildreth made 184 and Dom Bess 92, while Gareth Berg claimed five for 130.
That gave Somerset a lead of 275 and they pressed home the advantage by reducing Hampshire to 39 for two in their second innings before Amla and Vince launched a stubborn third-wicket stand.
By the close the pair had added 139, Amla unbeaten on 86 and Vince 63 not out.
With the pitch showing little sign of turning for Somerset’s two spinners, the visitors have a genuine chance of foiling the home side’s push for a third win of the season on Monday’s final day.
Sunday began with Hildreth on 125. With only three added to the total, he lost partner Jack Leach – bowled by Fidel Edwards shouldering arms – for 22.
Hildreth moved serenely to his 15th 150 in first-class cricket but was outscored by the positive Bess, who reached his half-century off just 61 balls.
The pair had added 145 when Hildreth fell in the final over before lunch, miscuing a full toss from Tom Alsop to mid-on.
After the break, Berg completed his five-wicket haul by bowling Bess for 92. Click here for the full scorecard.