Kyle Coetzer struck a half-century on the third day at Wantage Road as Northamptonshire's LV= County Championship match against Hampshire meandered towards a draw.
Hampshire, for whom Liam Dawson top-scored with a patient 76 from 214 balls, lost their last five wickets for 27 to be dismissed for 206 prior to lunch.
Coetzer then made 59 off 142 deliveries before Division Two leaders Northants closed on 159 for five.
Hampshire began the day on 149 for five, Dawson resuming his innings on 57 and Michael Roberts on two.
Roberts only made it to 12 before he was trapped lbw to give Muhammad Azhar Ullah his first wicket on championship debut.
Having batted so diligently, Dawson threw his wicket away in the following over when he thrashed former South Africa all-rounder Andrew Hall straight to David Sales at mid-on.
The visitors then lost a third wicket in just 14 deliveries as David Balcombe, who faced 11 balls without scoring, was taken by Sales at third slip off Azhar.
The Pakistani seamer claimed his third victim when Chris Wood edged to Hall at first slip before David Willey finished off Hampshire's innings by bowling Danny Briggs for 10.
Northants lost Matthew Spriegel in the seventh over of their reply, the opener pinned lbw by James Tomlinson after making just three.
Sales then walked for 15 when he edged Sean Ervine's delivery down the leg side and was terrifically taken by Hampshire wicketkeeper Adam Wheater diving low to his left.
James Vince was brought into the attack in the 32nd over and had Northants skipper Alex Wakely caught at first slip by former Zimbabwe international Ervine.
Coetzer completed his first half-century in the championship this season, off 102 balls, as Northants reached tea on 88 for three.
Yet his battling innings came to an end as he nudged Briggs to Wheater, becoming the first victim of spin in the match.
Rob Newton struggled to 21 before he succumbed to a catch in the gully off Chris Wood.
Hall and James Middlebrook then batted out the remaining 11 overs without incident.