Luke Wood claimed a second first-class five wicket haul but Northamptonshire finished the day on the brink of defeat at Old Trafford.
More blue sky greeted the players on the third morning in Manchester as Lancashire resumed on 276 for 6. 15 overs passed before Northamptonshire found their first and only breakthrough of the morning session, Nathan Buck beating the defence of Bailey and uprooting off stump with his first ball of the day. Lancashire lost their eighth wicket in the fourth over after the lunch break, Luke Wood taking an excellent catch off his own bowling to dismiss Vilas for 97. Wood struck again shortly after, claiming his fifth wicket of the innings when Onions top edged a pull shot to Buck at fine leg. Rob Keogh wrapping up the Lancashire innings in the next over, trapping Gleeson in front for a duck.
Northamptonshire began their reply trailing by 185 with Luke Procter opening alongside Ricardo Vasconcelos. Rob Newton unable to bat in the top order after suffering an injury in the first innings and not fielding throughout the Lancashire reply. It was a positive start for the visitors before Vasconcelos’ well struck cut shot picked out point in the eighth over. Wakely too fell to the cut seven overs later and when Procter edged to first slip in the very next over, Northamptonshire’s start went from bright to bleak.
Temba Bavuma and Rob Keogh found the boundary a number of times leading into tea, Northamptonshire going into the break 87/3, still trailing by 98. The final session of the day started in the worst way possible though, Temba Bavuma caught behind off his inside edge with the first ball after tea. This brought Cobb to the crease to join Keogh with the pair battling hard to take the score past 100 and then bring up the 50 partnership. Cobb fell shortly after the milestone though, trapped in front by Gleeson for 30.
This brought the injured Newton to the crease, accompanied by Alex Wakely his runner. It wasn’t long until Keogh for 42, a flick of the glove down the leg side being taken by the keeper. Gleeson had his ninth and tenth wickets for the match in quick succession, bowling both Newton and Overton within three balls. Buck and Wood dug in and with play being extended by half an hour the pair took Northamptonshire into the lead. Trailing by 1, Nathan Buck sent Mahmood sailing back over his head and into the stands, the first six of the match and enough to put Northamptonshire in front.
Luke Wood chopped on looking to cut Livingstone, departing for a grinding 14 with Ben Sanderson the last man to go in the penultimate over of the day, caught at bat pad leaving Lancashire 16 runs to win on Day 4.
Northamptonshire 230 (Wood 66, Procter 48) & 200 (Keogh 42, Buck 32*)
Lancashire 415 (Wood 5/72, Sanderson 2/56)
Northamptonshire lead by 15 runs.