Top-scorer Whiteman believes crucial clash with Lancashire is in the balance
The Australian top-scored with 79 at a sunny County Ground as Northants were bowled out for 232 after being asked to bat, but crucially wickets for Jack White and Ben Sanderson mean Lancashire closed the day on 52 for two, still 178 runs in arrears.
Whiteman, in his final game before returning to Australia, has endured a mixed campaign, but his second home half-century of the summer proved crucial to ensure his side are still in the hunt for the win they need to keep alive their hopes of avoiding relegation.
“Every time you go out to bat the goal is to score a hundred, so I am disappointed not to get there, but it felt like it was tricky to bat and a struggle for rhythm," said Whiteman.
"Any time in the middle is valuable. The game is pretty evenly balanced. If we can bowl well, we can put them under a bit of pressure.
“It was a hard wicket to read.
"Some balls were dying through while others were shooting and it always felt like there was enough sideways movement throughout the day which we saw again late on when we beat the bat a lot as well.
“The Lancashire bowling unit are a good group.
"They complement each other well and maintain pressure for long periods which is all you can ask of a bowling group in first-class cricket. There was never someone to bring a release."
And on the County's bowling effort, Whiteman added: “Two wickets is okay.
"We would have loved three and if the catch at the end sticks there would have been a nice little buzz.
"Even getting two judging on the trend of the year where we’ve normally been going in with none and staring at a long day.”
Aside from Whiteman, the only other Nothants batters to get going were Emilio Gay (35) and Saif Zaib (31).
Ricardo Vasconcelos missed out due to a wrist injury.
Quotes courtesy of Jon Batham