An outstanding all-round performance from James Pattinson, ably supported by Stuart Broad and Luke Fletcher, left Nottinghamshire on the brink of victory against Leicestershire.
The Australia international first hit a first-class career best 89 not out, compiling a partnership of 122 with Broad which swung the match firmly in Nottinghamshire’s favour, before picking up two quick wickets as the visitors laid waste to the Foxes’ second innings.
It was a remarkable turnaround in fortunes after Leicestershire’s seamers, led by Ben Raine who finished with a career-best 6-66, had bowled their side into the ascendancy, reducing Notts to 167-7 in mid-afternoon, still 84 behind on first innings.
But Pattinson middled the ball from the start, barely playing a false shot in going to his half-century off 63 balls, the highlight a huge straight six off the off-spin of Colin Ackermann.
Broad, in contrast, rarely found the middle of the bat, and was frequently discomfited by the pace of Zak Chappell, backing away and edging in the air on both sides of the wicket. None of the edges went to hand, however, and once Chappell was removed from the attack, Broad settled, reaching 50 off 62 balls, before going leg before to a Mark Cosgrove delivery that stayed a touch low.
Having run out of partners with a maiden first-class century in sight, Pattinson made up for any disappointment by quickly finding the edge of opener Harry Dearden’s bat with ball that left the left-hander.
Paul Horton unaccountably shouldered arms to a perfectly straight delivery from Broad, and for the second time in the match Pattinson defeated Ackermann with full, fast delivery that seamed back into the South African’s pads.
Fletcher then bowled a fine spell of out-swing, picking up three wickets to open the possibility of a two-day victory. Cosgrove’s steadfastness ensured his side would at least avoid that embarrassment.