After an excellent first day for the County, day two proved to be hugely disappointing with bat and ball.
First, Northants' bowlers were held up by the Lancashire tail as the home side stretched their overnight 268 for eight to 305 all out.
David Ripley's side then suffered a nightmare with the bat, collapsing to 87 for eight in reply, with 29 from Rob Keogh the only resistance.
A gutsy stand of 82 between skipper Adam Rossington (49) and Simon Kerrigan (45no) did at least give the total some respectability at 177 all out.
The home side then eased to 60 without loss at the close, and go into day three with a commanding lead of 188.
Rossington's battling innings was ended by a stunning ball from leg-spinner Matt Parkinson the delivery pitching outside leg and hitting off stump, reminiscent of Shane Warne's 'ball of the century' at the same ground back in 1993.
Parkinson ended with three for 49, and there was also three wickets for seamer Tom Bailey while England pace hopeful Saqib Mahmood took two for 38 from 16 overs.
The day started in frustrating fashion for Northants as both Tom Hartley with 25 and Parkinson with an unbeaten 21 made their highest first-class score, before Hartley holed out to Ben Curran at deep square leg to leave Kerrigan with figures of four for 60 off 34 overs. Tom Taylor's four for 91 was the the other stand out performance.
County ' openers Ricardo Vasconcelos and Curran were immediately troubled by Mahmood's pace and the visitor's reply had reached just 13 when Curran edged one through to a tumbling Hartley at third slip for nine.
A brilliant slip catch from Keaton Jennings accounted for Emilio Gay and handed Mahmood his second, before Luke Wood got in on the act, forcing Vasconcelos to pop one up to Bailey at midwicket for 15, leaving Northants 45 for three.
After a long winter carrying the drinks for England, Parkinson was called into action for his first red ball bowl since September 2019, and he was rewarded with the wicket of Luke Procter, who hit a full toss straight to Josh Bohannon at mid on for six.
The leg spinner was soon celebrating again when Saif Zaib mistimed a sweep to Stephen Croft at backward short leg for four, with Bailey then joining the party with the thrilling dismissal of Taylor clean bowled for three and Nathan Buck trapped in front in successive balls.
Northants rallied as Rossington and Kerrigan counter attacked until the doughty skipper was dismissed on 49 when his off stump was clipped by that huge turning delivery by Parkinson.
Ben Sanderson's run out left Kerrigan stranded on 45 before Jennings and Alex Davies safely steered Lancashire to 60 for 0 at the close.
Day two close, Lancashire v Northants, LV= Insurance County Championship: Lancashire 305 all out (Bohannon 68, Davies 57, Kerrigan 4-60, Taylor 4-91) and 60-0 (Davies, 36no); Northants 177 all out (Rossington 49, Kerrigan 45no, Bailey 3-32, Parkinson 3-49)