Lancashire’s cricketers finished a rain-affected third day in a position of strength against Leicestershire, leading by 158 runs with eight second-innings wickets remaining.
Heavy showers meant only 24 overs could be bowled at Grace Road, but 103 runs were scored and six wickets taken as Lancashire took charge of the LV= County Championship Division Two clash.
At the close, Lancashire were 39 for two having bowled Leicestershire out for 249 in response to the visiting side’s first innings 368.
After a late start, Leicestershire, resuming on 195 for six, quickly lost Tom Wells when he was trapped leg before on the back foot to Kyle Jarvis for seven.
At that stage they were still 16 short of saving the follow-on, but skipper Mark Cosgrove was joined by Clint McKay and they added 37 for the eighth wicket, at five an over, before another shower saw the players head for an early lunch.
Only four overs were possible in the afternoon session, but the visitors made the most of them by picking up two more wickets.
First to go was Cosgrove, who had battled his way to 79 before a Nathan Buck inswinger saw him dismissed lbw to end his stand with McKay at 42
There had been no further addition to the score when McKay, who had hit four fours in going to 26, edged a Jarvis outswinger to wicketkeeper Alex Davies.
Further rain kept the players off until 5.45pm, but when they returned Lancashire needed only one more ball to finish the Leicestershire innings, Jarvis seaming one back in to Charlie Shreck to win another leg before shout, and finish with figures of five for 69.
Looking to bat positively to give themselves enough time to bowl Leicestershire out on the final day, Lancashire quickly lost Paul Horton to a run out having made just seven.
Horton called his opening partner Karl Brown through for a single, was sent back by Brown, who had slipped, and did not make it.
Brown himself followed soon afterwards, nicking a Shreck delivery to Niall O’Brien behind the stumps, and it should have been three when Alviro Petersen edged the last ball of the day, bowled by Ben Raine, to Wells at third slip.
However, the young all-rounder failed to hold the chance - the fifth time Leicestershire have dropped a good chance in the slips in this match.
Lancashire director of cricket Ashley Giles said: “There is still a lot to be done, and the first priority for us is to get a few more runs on the board and get a good lead.
“We’ve not set any targets but there is enough in the pitch for wickets to fall pretty quickly and in clumps. I just hope it’s a clear day and it could be a fun day, all three results are possible.”