|LV County Championship Division Two, Wantage Road|
|Close of play, day three: Northants 276 & 22-0 v Middlesex 479-8 (dec)|
|Northants 2pts, Middlesex 7pts|
Dawid Malan hit a century as Middlesex gave themselves a hope of victory at Wantage Road.
Malan's 113, combined with a quickfire 57 from 48 balls by Ollie Rayner, helped Middlesex to 479-8 (dec) - James Middlebrook taking 5-123.
That gave the visitors a first innings lead of 203 in a game which was severely hampered by rain early on.
And Northants may be hoping for more bad weather on the final day as they closed on 22-0 - still 181 runs behind.
CLOSE OF PLAY VIEWS
BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:
"Dawid Malan looked back to his best as Middlesex made Northamptonshire's first innings total look poor on a flat track.
"There were fewer indications of inconsistent bounce on day three and Northamptonshire's bowlers had their work cut out to try and keep control of the visitors' first innings.
"Stand-in skipper Chris Rogers gave his team the perfect start with a solid 55 and was ably assisted by the nightwatchman Toby Roland-Jones in frustrating the hosts in the morning session.
"Chaminda Vaas held the attack together for the home side but he badly missed his injured opening partner Jack Brookes.
"Malan's innings was chanceless and displayed many of the flowing, elegant strokes that were a major part of his game during the previous two years."