Yorkshire, defending a target of 323, are closing in on a crucial Roses Specsavers County Championship victory at Emirates Old Trafford.
Jonny Bairstow hit 82 off 67 balls during the second morning to underpin the White Rose’s second-innings 239 all out, also including 55 for Harry Brook and 45 not out for captain Steve Patterson.
Lancashire fought hard with the ball having been bowled out for 109 in the first innings late on day one to concede a lead of 83.
But they slipped with the bat during a 48-over evening session and require a miracle to avoid their fifth defeat in nine Division One matches this season. With captain Liam Livingstone nursing a fractured left thumb, they only have nine wickets to play with, and they closed on 194-6, needing 129 more.
The hosts started the day in impressive fashion, reducing Yorkshire to 21-3, with Adam Lyth falling for four, Joe Root for three and Kane Williamson for one – all caught behind.
Root was unsure whether to play back or forwards to a short of a length delivery from England Test colleague Jimmy Anderson.
But typically pugnacious Bairstow, dropped on 22 by Matthew Parkinson at mid-on, and fourth-wicket partner Brook shared 133 inside 20 overs through the rest of the morning session to put the hosts on the back foot again.
Bairstow, who made batting look particularly straightforward, reached 50 off 38 balls and Brook off 60, only for the latter to fall caught behind down leg at the start of the session’s final over to Tom Bailey as the score fell to 154-4.
Graham Onions was the pick of Lancashire’s bowlers with 3-44.
Having removed Lyth and Williamson, whose one run in this match was his lowest return in a first-class fixture in which he has batted twice, the ex-Durham man had Bairstow caught at point following an uppish drive shortly after lunch.
It was the first of six wickets to fall in the afternoon, with two apiece going to Jordan Clark and leg-spinner Parkinson. Bailey also finished with two wickets.
Wicketkeeper Dane Vilas, who has assumed captaincy duties in Livingstone’s absence, claimed six victims in the innings – five catches and a stumping.
Vilas was then one of the five wickets to fall after tea as Yorkshire closed in on 19 points. He was trapped lbw by on-loan leg-spinner Josh Poysden.
Alex Davies (32) and Keaton Jennings (30) shared an opening stand of 54 inside 14 overs, but they were lbw to Tim Bresnan and Ben Coad as the score fell to 86-2 in the 25th over.
Both men indicated there was bat involved, with Davies looking like he had a stronger case on replay.
Following the departure of Vilas to Poysden with the score on 87, Patterson really swung the game Yorkshire’s way with two wickets in four balls in the 32nd over.
He had both Haseeb Hameed, whose 31 was his highest Championship score this season, and Clark caught behind as the score fell to 110-5 – the first wicket extra bounce and the second low down to Bairstow’s right.
Buttler and Bailey then gave Lancashire a late boost with an 80 stand.
Buttler reached 50 off 54 balls with a huge pulled six off a Poysden short ball before falling to Root’s fifth ball in the penultimate over – caught at leg-slip.