Thanks to a sticky seventh-wicket partnership between Samit Patel and Graeme Swann, Nottinghamshire have probably done enough to secure the draw that will keep them on top of the Championship table.
With Patel unbeaten on 82 - his highest first-class score of the season - and Swann 36, the home side, following on, have overtaken Surrey and kicked on some. At the interval, with a minimum 34 overs left of the day's schedule, Nottinghamshire are 99 in front.
Surrey, still looking for a first win of the campaign, may feel they should have pressed home their advantage after the home side began the day still 139 behind and two wickets down but they have managed only two wickets in each session today.
That said, Nottinghamshire have batted more responsibly than they did yesterday and while neither Patel nor Swann - nor Andre Adams earlier in the day - has been able fully to contain a natural inclination to attack, each has been more selective about when to do it.
Patel's 82 has come off 116 balls with a dozen boundaries. He survived a big shout for a catch at silly point off Saqlain Mushtaq early in his innings but has looked largely secure since and will be disappointed if he does not complete his ton.
The wickets to fall since lunch have been Adam Voges, whose edged drive against Jade Dernbach gave wicketkeeper Jon Batty his 500th first-class victim, and skipper Chris Read, who lost his middle stump playing all round a ball from Pedro Collins.
Unless Surrey pull off what would now be an extraordinary win, Notts will still lead the First Division table, albeit with a lead reduced to one point over Lancashire, winners against Hampshire, with Kent, who beat Yorkshire, a further point behind in third place.Reuse content