Niall O’Brien and Stephen Peters made half-centuries as Northamptonshire tightened their grip on Leicestershire on the third day of their County Championship clash.
Leicestershire were bowled out by the middle of the afternoon for 299, 100 runs behind Northants’ first innings total, as Shiv Thakor made 61.
Ireland wicketkeeper O’Brien then made 79 and Peters 56 as Northants closed on 211-3 to extend their lead to 311.
Leicestershire began the day on 187 for six, 212 runs behind their opponents with Thakor resuming on 30 and Wayne White on four.
White gave himself a scare in the third over of the day when he played Andrew Hall’s delivery into the ground and watched the ball trickle slowly into his stumps but the bails stayed put.
However, he didn’t survive in the Northants captain’s next over when his edge gave wicketkeeper David Murphy a simple catch and he departed for eight.
Thakor, however, completed a stubborn half-century off 181 balls as he and Claude Henderson put on 80 for the eighth wicket to ensure that Leicestershire avoided the follow-on.
But the 18-year-old was to go cheaply in the seventh over after lunch when he chipped Middlebrook straight to Olly Stone, who was standing at extra cover.
Two balls later, Robbie Joseph followed him back to the pavilion when he edged Middlebrook to Murphy before Henderson reached his 50.
Lee Daggett eventually ended Leicestershire’s innings when he trapped Nathan Buck (14) lbw, leaving 40-year-old South African Henderson unbeaten on 56.
O’Brien raced past 50 off just 62 balls during the evening and Peters then completed his 50 with a six over midwicket off Henderson.
But he wouldn’t go on to his second century of the match as he was caught and bowled by Will Jones, who took the first wicket of his senior career to finally end the opening stand at 139.
Jones struck again in his next over when O’Brien smashed him to Joseph, who just about held on at deep midwicket after initially juggling the ball.
David Sales then walked on 24 when he launched Henderson high into the air and was comfortably taken by Jones at mid-on.
But Alex Wakely and Rob Newton were able to survive the final four overs of the day and will resume on 20 and 26 respectively.