Nottinghamshire 87 for 5 (Holland 4-19) trail Hampshire 166 (Gubbins 49, Fuller 46, James 3-38) by 79 runs
But, supported by Felix Organ, Fuller latterly surged forward. Surviving a difficult chance in the deep off James when nine, he mixed authentic drives with periodic swipes as the stand reached 73 from 12 overs before he aimed one flash too many.
Nottinghamshire, facing 29 overs to the close, soon confronted problems of their own on this seamer’s surface. Holland, coming on second change, took three wickets in his first ten balls and another 15 minutes from the close to put the visitors’ earlier struggles firmly in context.
On a day when just one stand lasted even 55 minutes, Hutton had initiated the general calamity when he followed his wicket with the second ball of the previous match with that of Holland from the fifth ball of this. Toby Pettman, in only his fourth championship start and his first for Nottinghamshire, made it successive wicket-maidens when Fletcha Middleton also went without score, lobbing tamely to mid-wicket.
Not until the sixth over did runs scored exceed wickets lost and unsurprisingly Gubbins and Vince tried to bed in on a pitch of no great pace or bounce but persistent seam movement. Briefly accelerating after 70 minutes of defence, and a very short Bridgford Road boundary, they were soon checked by James, however.
After their third-wicket recovery had posted 68, James followed his maiden five-wicket haul in the last game by removing both captain Vince and Ben Brown, for the third duck of the innings, in three balls. Vince, whipping across the line for 22, and Brown both fell leg-before in his second over.
In eleven balls either side of tea, James also then knocked over Liam Dawson before Paterson did for both Gubbins with a beauty and, on resumption, Keith Barker, edging a lifter to third slip.
Time may be running out for Hampshire to achieve the title that their own high-quality pace attack has long threatened to secure. No fewer than eight of this present eleven have already passed a 32nd birthday and both Barker and fellow seamer Kyle Abbott are now 36.
In contrast, Nottinghamshire’s ranks have been so depleted by injury, Test calls and loss of form that half of the dozen men who played their first two games in April were absent from this. Thoughts of the championship have realistically given way some while ago to an outside threat of relegation.
This threat loomed again when acting skipper, Haseeb Hameed, soon became just the latest right-hander to fall to left-arm Barker with a defensive edge to the ‘keeper and Holland, introduced at 47 for one, had Will Young bottom-edgeing a cut into his stumps and, in succession, Ben Slater, Joe Clarke and Matt Montgomery caught behind. Some day: a wicket fell on average every 31 balls.