A magnificent double century from David Sales helped Northamptonshire build a huge lead on a rain-affected third day their Division Two clash with Gloucestershire.
Sales' unbeaten knock of 255 off 279 balls was the third-highest score of his career and inspired the hosts to 567-4, giving them a first-innings lead of 178 after their opponents reached 31-0 in reply.
Andrew Hall also contributed an unbeaten 55 off 106 deliveries but Gloucestershire, who had seen Kyle Coetzer make a century on day two, could still hold on for a draw following some welcome rain.
The heavens opened 10 minutes before the players were due out, which led to the entire morning session being wiped out and 33 overs being lost as play finally started at 2.15pm
Cameron White reached 16 before he smashed Craig Miles to Benny Howell at deep midwicket in the fifth over of the day, but Sales and Hall piled on 170 for Northants' fifth wicket.
Veteran batsman Sales completed the eighth double ton of his career off 232 deliveries by hammering a four through point off the bowling of Miles to help Northants to 493-4 at tea.
Gloucestershire still could not break apart the partnership in the evening as Sales reached 250 just before Hall completed his half-century, with skipper Stephen Peters waving the innings off shortly afterwards
Only two overs were possible before the umpires stopped play for bad light, but thankfully the players were back out 10 minutes later.
Within three balls of the restart, Chris Dent was given a reprieve as he was dropped on two by James Middlebrook at third and the opener went on to reach 10 at stumps alongside Michael Klinger (21 not out).