A toiling Middlesex attack made Nottinghamshire work for their runs in the Lord’s sunshine but they could not prevent them from reaching 329/7 – an intimidating lead of 446 – by tea on the third afternoon.
It was slow going after Nottinghamshire resumed 218 ahead at 101 for two but England one-day batsman Alex Hales and night watchman Will Gidman had put on 51 when Gidman was caught at slip off Adam Voges for 18.
Three overs later, Hales, who had curbed his attacking instincts to make 37 off 80 balls, was surprised by a lifter from Tim Murtagh which he could only glove to wicketkeeper John Simpson but two more England hopefuls, Samit Patel and James Taylor, added another 69 for the sixth wicket.
Patel, dropped at second slip off Murtagh on eight, had made 33 when he swept Voges to backward square leg and Taylor had reached 61 when he fell leg before to the off spin of Paul Stirling.
Then Riki Wessels and Chris Read stepped up the pace with 46 in nine overs. Wessels was leg before to the persevering Murtagh for 38 but Read was still there at tea having added 48 to his first innings 62 not out.