Nottinghamshire’s hopes of aiding their Specsavers County Championship survival hopes with an unlikely draw against Yorkshire were boosted by the weather at Scarborough.
Needing to chase 452 for victory or bat out a minimum of 175 overs to save the game, Notts moved to 61-3 before heavy rain curtailed play for the day midway through the afternoon session.
Tom Moores proved to be the main barrier between victory for Yorkshire, with the youngster marking his debut for the Notts with a career-best 41 not out.
And the rain raised fresh questions regarding Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance’s decision not to enforce the follow-on on day two as the Tykes look to close the gap on Division One leaders Middlesex during what is their game in hand.
Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell, said: “Obviously we’re in a very tough position needing another 390 to win, so we’re clearly on the wrong end of the game so any time taken out of it is good for us.”
On Moores’ performance, he added: “Some of the quality of the shots that he played were outstanding.
“On a pitch where some of our senior batsmen have got out and are struggling for confidence, he has played some aggressive shots that really make you sit up.
“It’s going to be tough. Seven wickets in a day is not a huge amount but again lost time tomorrow would be beneficial to us.
“It will all depend on how much it rains today because the forecast is pretty good for tomorrow, so if time was taken out of the day then it would increase our chances of a draw and something to grab hold of.
“We were quite surprised they didn’t enforce the follow-on, so anything that happened this morning wasn’t particularly surprising for us.”
Yorkshire began the day leading by 388 on 200-4, and they batted for 12.2 overs following a 40-minute delay as Gary Ballance brought up a 29th first-class century.
Having resumed on 75, the England batsman moved through to his three figures from 163 balls having hit 14 fours as he shared in an unbroken stand of 69 with Tim Bresnan (35 no), who himselg hit five fours and a six.
The declaration came moments after he celebrated the milestone on 263-4, leaving Notts five overs before lunch to bat out.
But Jack Brooks struck with just his third ball as Steven Mullaney edged to Jack Leaning in the slips.
Youngsters Jake Libby and Moores were then tasked with seeing off the new ball, and they batted showed admirable defensive techniques before Bresnan swung the pendulum back in Yorkshire’s favour.
He removed Libby with the first ball of his spell as Jake Lehmann took a tumbling catch at fourth slip before Michael Lumb feathered an edge through to Andrew Hodd five balls later to register a pair against his former county.
Moores, however, continued to relish the responsibility of batting at number three for the first time in Championship cricket as he played some eye-catching strokes, including an imperious straight drive off the bowling of Steven Patterson.
He and Brendan Taylor were at the crease when the umpires decided the light was bad enough for play to be abandoned, and the heavy rain that followed brought about a premature finish to a day in which 58 overs were lost.