On a day when the initiative swung one way and then the other, Lancashire finished slightly ahead of Warwickshire on day three of their LV= County Championship Division One clash at Edgbaston.
The hosts looked like they had undone all the hard work laid down over four sessions when their opponents had a flying start to their second innings but two late wickets restored some balance.
Lancashire closed on 84 for two, 48 runs ahead, but a positive result looks unlikely even on an increasingly turning pitch.
Warwickshire's progress on the second day had been pedestrian but it allowed them to put down some decent foundations and although Will Porterfield's four hours and 41 minutes at the crease were ended with just six added to his overnight 51 there was no repeat of the previous day's turgidity.
Like their opponents the previous morning, the home side scored at a run a ball for the opening half hour as Tim Ambrose and Rikki Clarke produced some much-needed momentum, putting on 192 in two sessions.
Clarke, in particular, displayed his intent with a couple of boundaries early on and after surviving an appeal for a catch down the leg side set about chasing down Lancashire's total.
Clarke bowled by Kegs http://t.co/OtGQHz8p4v
— Lancashire CCC (@LancsCCC) June 10, 2014
The pair saw off the threat of the second new ball with Ambrose reaching his half-century and Clarke passing 8,000 first-class runs by lunch with Warwickshire.
Ambrose was pinned in front by Kyle Hogg in the second over after the interval to end a 90-run stand but, with the pitch becoming more receptive to spin, slow left-armer Simon Kerrigan got the key wicket of Clarke who, immediately after reaching his second half-century in only four championship innings, was bowled around his legs.
However, Keith Barker's 44 not out gave the home side a 36-run lead as they posted 322.
Warwickshire may have felt they had the advantage despite Lancashire's five wickets for 88 in the afternoon session but the deficit was wiped out in four overs after a rapid start by Paul Horton and Alex Davies, who clipped Barker down to the fine-leg boundary and lifted him over long leg for six in successive balls.
Horton made Varun Chopra pay for dropping a straightforward slip chance as Lancashire raced to 54 off nine overs at tea but after a weather-delayed restart Davies and Horton went for 30 and 42 respectively late on.