Former Northamptonshire staffman Gavin Baker pulled the County out of trouble following a second-innings batting collapse against Surrey in the Second XI Championship match at Campbell Park on Wednesday.
Baker hit an unbeaten 45 and added 76 for the seventh wicket - with power to add - in company with wicketkeeper Gary Knight (24no) as Northants closed on 187-6 in their second innings - leading by 215 with a day to go.
Going in again with a 28-run advantage, the County plunged to 26-4 until Ricky Moore (42) and Luke Blackaby (31) steadied the ship. And after they both departed in quick succession, Baker and Knight rode to the rescue again.
Earlier, Surrey were dismissed for 261 with Sam Sweeney (5-42) and Baker (3-85) doing most of the damage.
But the visitors were able to recover from 163-8 thanks to an 81-run partnership between bowlers George Edwards and Matthew Dunn, who contributed 51 noit out and 51 respectively.
The match finishes on Thursday.