Dazzling Dexter hurts Notts
A career-best bowling effort from Neil Dexter enabled Middlesex to gain the upper hand in their LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
When bad light brought a premature end to a compelling third day, the home side had reached 182 for nine in their second innings - an overall lead of just 107.
Dexter, thrust into the role of fourth seamer due to the absence of the injured James Harris, ripped through Notts’ top order with a spell of four wickets in just 13 deliveries, including three in one over, en route to figures of 5-27.
His haul began with an injudicious pull from Samit Patel that ballooned high to midwicket, where substitute fielder Harry Podmore held a well-judged catch.
Notts then collapsed spectacularly during Dexter's third over, which began with James Taylor being caught behind, playing loosely away from his body.
Riki Wessels, hampered by a hamstring injury and batting with a runner, chased an away swinger and Chris Read did not play a shot and was given out lbw.
Dexter's first five-wicket haul was completed when a thickish nick, from the bat of Ajmal Shahzad, flew to Dawid Malan at first slip.
From the seemingly hopeless position of 68 for seven, still seven behind, Notts gave themselves some hope with a punchy and entertaining stand of 89 between Andre Adams and Luke Fletcher.
The pair prospered after Adams had been put down early in his innings, ironically by Dexter at deep square-leg, and remained together until Fletcher was bowled for 47 just before the close.
Middlesex claimed eight of the nine Nottinghamshire wickets in the space of 28.2 overs between lunch and tea, beginning with the dismissal of Ed Cowan, bowled by Tim Murtagh for one, and Michael Lumb, pinned in front by Toby Roland-Jones to complete a pair in the match.
Alex Hales made 32 but it was the savage hitting of 37-year old Adams, who launched three sixes in his undefeated 50, that showed some of his colleagues how it should be done.
Earlier, after a delayed start, Middlesex's first innings ended on 353, with John Simpson being left stranded on 97 not out.
Simpson, dropped in the slips by Patel when on 92, lost control of his own destiny and missed out on a chance of a century by handing the strike back to last man Tim Murtagh, who edged Adams to wicketkeeper Read.