An unbeaten 67 by Joe Burns and a torrential afternoon downpour checked Northamptonshire's bid for victory in the LV= County Championship clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The heavy rain that arrived shortly after lunch left the ground saturated and, following a 5pm inspection, umpires Martin Bodenham and Steve O'Shaughnessy had little option but to abandon play for the day.
It left Leicestershire on 142 for three, still needing another 276 runs to avoid the follow-on in their reply to Northants 567 for seven declared. However, with only one day remaining Leicestershire will now have high hopes of saving the game.
They began the third day on 47 for two with Burns on 15 and Ned Eckersley 19. Both batsmen rode their luck in the early overs with Andrew Hall, a centurion with the bat, causing all manner of problems with his accurate medium-paced cutters.
The third-wicket pair survived courtesy of some dogged resilience, with 23-year-old Australian Burns particularly impressive.
In his previous six innings in the championship and Yorkshire Bank 40, Burns had a top score of 21 from his debut appearance against Glamorgan last month.
But he gradually grew in confidence as his innings progressed and a glorious straight six off James Middlebrook put him in sight of a half-century.
He reached the landmark from 81 balls with six fours alongside that maximum. Eckersley also looked solid but, having reached 43, he was trapped lbw on the back foot by Middlebrook to end a stand of 99 in 34 overs.
Leicestershire went into lunch on 133 for three, but only three more overs were possible after the break before the rain swept in. Matthew Boyce has six as the other not out batsman.