Lancashire facing another Championship defeat
County Championship Division One, Old Trafford
Close, day three: Nottinghamshire 169 & 304, Lancashire 146 & 39-5
Lancs 3pts, Notts 3pts
County champions Lancashire face the prospect of a third defeat in four matches after a late collapse against Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford.
Peter Moores' side ended the day on 39-5, chasing a victory target of 328.
Notts, resuming on 122-2, reached 304, despite Jimmy Anderson taking 5-82, Michael Lumb (62) and Chris Read (54) both hitting half centuries.
But Anderson's England colleagues Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann then also got in on the act as Lancs struggled.
As well as Anderson, recovered from illness and injury, even more encouraging for the England selectors was the sight of Broad going a long way towards proving his fitness ahead of the forthcoming West Indies series by removing Paul Horton for a second-ball duck and Karl Brown in an accurate new-ball spell.
Then his team-mate Swann had Ashwell Prince caught at slip for 14 in his first over, a wicket sandwiched by Andre Adams accounting for Stephen Moore and Steven Croft.
It may only have been the fact that bad light at Old Trafford ended play 21 overs early which prevented Read's bowlers completing their victory inside three days.
By contrast, Lancashire look a shadow of the side which last summer won the first outright Championship in 77 years.
Nottinghamshire's evening breakthroughs allowed them to build on a productive first half of the day.
Their total would have been larger had not Anderson dismissed four of the last five batsmen as Notts lost their last six wickets for 39 runs. And, while the Burnley fast bowler enjoyed catching Broad off Simon Kerrigan, he probably derived greater satisfaction from exacting his revenge on close friend Swann, whom he bowled for 12.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"A really strong performance from Nottinghamshire has set them up as creditable challengers for this season's Championship already.
"It was too much for Lancashire to hope that a strong Notts batting order would fail for a second time (all 11 have scored first class centuries), despite Jimmy Anderson's five-wicket haul.
"The home side appeared shell-shocked as Broad, Adams and Swann ripped out half their side in just 15 overs. Only rain can save them from a heavy defeat.