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Middlesex strengthened their position on the third day of their LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The visitors reached the close on 220 for five in their second innings, an overall lead of 333.

A six-wicket haul from Tim Murtagh had enabled Middlesex to grasp a first-innings advantage of 113 as the home side were bowled out for 392, with Samit Patel top-scoring with 77.

Murtagh returned the impressive figures of six for 93, the 24th time in his career he has taken five or more wickets in an innings.

Nottinghamshire lost Patel, 75 not out overnight, to the 10th ball of the day as he clipped Toby Roland-Jones off his hip and straight into the waiting hands of Steven Finn at deep square-leg.

After the first of two morning interruptions for bad light, Wessels and Chris Read took up the fight against the new ball. Finn, in particular, was harshly treated and was removed from the attack after being pulled for six by Wessels.

Murtagh removed both Read and Peter Siddle with consecutive deliveries at the start of the afternoon before a one-handed slip catch by Dawid Malan brought Roland-Jones the wicket of Wessels, who made 71 from 165 balls with six fours and a six.

Luke Fletcher made 42, his highest score of the season, to take Notts beyond the follow-on mark but both he and Andre Adams, who hit his first two deliveries for six, fell to Murtagh.

After making three consecutive pairs on his home ground, Harry Gurney finished with three not out, his first runs at Trent Bridge since last August.

Chris Rogers drove Australia team-mate Siddle for three boundaries in the opening over of Middlesex's second innings but eventually nicked Adams to slip to fall for 48, soon after Malan had been bowled by Gurney.

Siddle struck back from his early mauling to remove both Eoin Morgan and Neil Dexter, taking his first-class tally of wickets up to 350.

Joe Denly was unluckily run out backing up as Gurney deflected a drive from Simpson onto the stumps at the non-striker's end.

Despite the surface continuing to favour the batsmen, an unbroken stand of 80 between Simpson and Paul Stirling was vital in the closing stages of the day to take the contest even further away from Nottinghamshire and push the visitors closer towards a declaration early on the final morning.

Murtagh was one of the stars of the show and is now waiting to see what happens tomorrow.

"We're in a pretty good position but the wicket is still very good and there's a short boundary on one side. We want to get results but we've got to go about it without being reckless. We'll just have to see what happens in the morning," he said.

On his six-wicket haul he added: "It was important that one of us stood up and took wickets and it's nice to be able to do it in the first innings. The other two occasions this year have been in the second innings but it's always pleasing when I can contribute."

Nottinghamshire's director of cricket Mick Newell said: "In terms of actually winning the match the last two hours may have seen that slip away from us. A lot, though, will depend on how Middlesex bat tomorrow.

"I don't expect them to declare now and I think by the time they do declare they will have batted themselves into a position where they can't lose and it will be very much down to us to bat all day then.

"If we had restricted the chase to 350 or less we would very much have been in with a chance of winning the match."

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