Hampshire were frustrated by a record partnership on the penultimate day of their LV County Championship match against Gloucestershire.
A stand of 92 between Hamish Marshall and David Payne – a ninth-wicket record for Gloucestershire against Hampshire – means Jimmy Adams’ side still have work to do to record their first win of the season.
It has set up what should be a fascinating final day’s play.
Gloucestershire will begin it 190 ahead on 308-9 after Payne was out to the final ball of the third day for a 68-ball 44.
With the shadows lengthening and his second first-class fifty in his sights, Payne nicked James Vince’s medium pace to Liam Dawson at second slip.
But he and Marshall had already broken a 76 year-old record.
A match-winning centurion when the counties last met at The Ageas Bowl ten months ago, Marshall was on 84 at stumps and will be joined by teenager Matt Taylor in the morning.
Hampshire will hope to take the last Gloucestershire wicket as quickly as the home side completed their innings after they began the third day on 417-9.
Adam Wheater was out for 82 when he pulled the tenth ball to fine leg, 19 year-old left-armer Matt Taylor completing an impressive return of took 5-75 in only his fifth first-class outing.
Gloucestershire began their second innings 118 behind and James Tomlinson soon made inroads, dismissing the openers in his second over; captain Matthew Klinger nicking behind before Chris Dent was caught at square cover four balls later.
First-innings centurion Will Tavare was lbw to Matt Coles but Alex Gidman’s 93-ball 72 contributed to a fourth-wicket partnership of 76 before he nicked to Wheater.
Will Gidman soon played on attempting to drive Ervine, who bowled impressively (13-3-21-2).
Kyle Abbott did not hit the heights of the first innings, but trapped Cameron Herring lbw before Vince’s two-handed diving catch at leg slip gave Coles his second wicket.
Vince finally ended Gloucestershire’s penultimate partnership during an evening session that saw the injured Wheater replaced behind the stumps by Will Smith, before having an X-ray on his index finger last night.
Gloucestershire’s tail has wagged considerably more than it did in the first innings, but a good forecast means time is on Hampshire’s side.
Coach Dale Benkenstein said: “If we can get the last wicket early enough I’m confident we can knock the runs off.
“The wicket doesn’t seem to have deteriorated too much and it’s a fast scoring ground so it will be quite hard to defend a total.”
Meanwhile, Tom Alsop has scored his maiden century for Hampshire II, on the first day of a three-day friendly against Surrey at Guildford.