Gloucestershire 174 (Salisbury 3-30) and 64 for 1 need a further 53 runs to beat Durham 158 and 132 (Shaw 3-31)
Gloucestershire are on the verge of securing their first Specsavers County Championship Division Two win of the season, requiring only another 53 runs with nine wickets in hand to beat Durham at Emirates Riverside.
The visitors were only able to add 54 runs to their first-innings total on day two, although it was enough to hold a slender advantage as Chris Rushworth and Brydon Carse did the damage for the hosts. Durham then put forward another poor effort with the bat after mustering only 158 in their first innings.
Cameron Bancroft top-scored with 40, providing resistance with a patient knock. Outside of the skipper, familiar failings resulted in the home side being bowled out for 132. Gloucestershire openers Chris Dent and Miles Hammond knocked off over half of the 117 needed for the victory before the close.
Gloucestershire began day two 120 for 5, trailing the home side by 38 runs. Ben Raine made an impact in his first over when he dismissed Benny Howell, who failed to add to his overnight score of 27. Rushworth added to Durham's bright start to the day when he removed Ryan Higgins and Josh Shaw, clean bowling the latter for 18.
Graeme van Buuren and Matt Taylor added late runs to guide Gloucestershire into a lead of 16 as Carse ended the innings, claiming the final two wickets. David Payne handed the visitors the perfect start to Durham's second innings, dismissing Alex Lees lbw for a first-ball duck. Ryan Pringle countered by scoring six boundaries in an attempt to kickstart his season, but he played a loose shot on 30 on the stroke of lunch and was caught at mid-on off the bowling of Shaw.
The right-arm seamer then put Gloucestershire in control after the interval, removing Gareth Harte and Jack Burnham in successive deliveries, with the former completing a pair in the match falling to an lbw decision. Bancroft and Liam Trevaskis held firm for almost 23 overs, fending off accurate bowling from the visitors.
The two players were approaching their fifty partnership, but Trevaskis took on a quick single and a slight hesitation from his partner at the other end broke the stand at 48. A direct hit from Van Buuren running in from cover dismissed the Durham skipper, which signalled all but the end of Durham's hopes of producing a competitive total. Trevaskis fell shortly after his captain for 21 to Payne before Taylor and Higgins combined to take two wickets apiece to wrap up the final four wickets for 35 runs.
Dent and Hammond were then able to see off the threat of the new ball. Rushworth and Raine attempted to apply pressure, but the Gloucestershire openers whittled down the target, reaching their fifty partnership in 108 deliveries. Matt Salisbury ended the stand at 60 as Dent edged behind to Eckersley, but the visitors remained on course for a comfortable win.