Trent Copeland again shone with the ball as he took four wickets on the second day of Northamptonshire's LV= County Championship match against Hampshire at Wantage Road.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat by the Division Two leaders, Hampshire closed on 149 for five as bad light brought an early finish with Liam Dawson making an obdurate 57 not out off 179 balls.
Australia paceman Copeland returned figures of 4-49 from 28 overs to give Northants the upper hand in what is his penultimate championship game before he returns home.
After the first day was washed out without a ball being bowled, Northants won the toss and chose to bowl in overcast conditions.
They made a breakthrough with just the fourth ball of the match when Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams was superbly taken by wicketkeeper David Murphy off David Willey for a two-ball duck.
Fellow opener Michael Carberry only made 10 before he was caught at second slip by David Sales off Copeland.
The visitors crawled to 30 for two off the 24 overs possible in the morning, yet lost James Vince in the fourth over after lunch when he was trapped lbw by Copeland.
Copeland switched to the Pavilion End in the 39th over and, two balls in, pinned Sean Ervine lbw after the former Zimbabwe international had made 26.
The fifth-wicket pair of Dawson and Adam Wheater moved Hampshire on to 114 for four before bad light forced the players off.
The delay meant an early tea and the loss of five overs, although only another five were possible before the light dimmed again early in the evening session.
The latest stoppage did not impact Dawson's concentration as he completed a watchful half-century off 165 balls.
However, Copeland struck again when uprooting the off stump of Wheater, who had batted brightly in making 40 off 54 deliveries.
A result now looks unlikely, but Northants will still be looking for quick wickets tomorrow morning with Dawson joined at the crease by Mike Roberts, who is to resume on two.