Tim Ambrose’s bullish century underpinned a Warwickshire fightback after Hampshire’s seam bowlers had put their side in control at Edgbaston in their LV= County Championship Division One encounter.
When Warwickshire, collectively guilty of fallible judgment outside off-stump, declined to 120-6 in reply to 319, they were far from certain to avoid the follow-on.
But Ambrose took a faltering innings by the scruff of the neck and forced it forward again as his 113 (159 balls, 17 fours) lifted the hosts to 280 and kept them in an intriguing contest.
In a match in which few batsmen have looked entirely comfortable, though there is nothing wrong with the pitch, a first-innings lead of 39 for Hampshire could still prove very useful.
Richard Oliver’s second first-class hundred and aggressive half-centuries from Alexi Kervezee and Gareth Andrew led an impressive Worcestershire response against Sussex at Hove.
Replying to Sussex’s 345, the visitors were bowled out for 389 and the hosts reached 8-0 in three overs before stumps, still trailing by 36 runs.
In Division Two, Surrey batsman Steven Davies completed the first double century of his career as his side kicked on from their commanding overnight position to declare on 563-7 before hosts Glamorgan reached 124-2.
Essex launched a fine recovery to leave themselves slight favourites to beat Kent at Chelmsford.
After being left a target of 193, they reached the close on 66-3, a position of promise that seemed highly unlikely after they had resumed the second day on 67-6 in reply to their opponents’ first-innings total of 193.
Derbyshire’s pace attack delivered a late twist to another enthralling day to give the home side a slender advantage against Lancashire.
Mark Footitt and Tom Taylor dismissed openers Paul Horton and Luis Reece along with nightwatchman Peter Siddle as the visitors closed on 36-3 in their second innings.
It gives them a lead of only 55 with two days remaining.