|LV= County Championship Group Three, The 1st Central County Ground, Hove (day three)|
|Yorkshire 150 & 305: Ballance 74, Lyth 66; Carson 5-85|
|Sussex 221 & 136-6: Haines 37, Brown 26*; Bess 5-33|
|Sussex (4 pts) need 99 more runs to beat Yorkshire (4 pts)|
England red-ball spinner Dom Bess put Yorkshire on top as Sussex slipped to 136-6 chasing 235 to win at Hove.
Yorkshire resumed just 92 runs ahead on 163-5, but Gary Ballance’s dogged 74 and a last-wicket stand of 51 from Duanne Olivier and David Willey helped the visitors to 305 all out.
Sussex made a solid start in reply, but Bess reduced them from 81-2 to 86-5.
Bess (5-33) removed George Garton with the final ball of the day to leave Sussex 99 short at stumps.
Yorkshire will start the final day as favourites to take the four wickets needed for their second win of the season, particularly with Bess in their armoury on a wearing pitch.
He was introduced in just the 10th over of the Sussex chase and broke an opening stand of 45 in just his second over when he bowled Aaron Thomason.
England Test captain Joe Root came on at the other end as the Tykes went for all-out spin, and Bess took three wickets for just five runs, removing Stiaan van Zyl and Delray Rawlings in successive balls.
Garton (21) and Ben Brown (26 not out) almost guided the hosts to the close without further loss as they built a 50-run stand until the former was caught behind by Jonathan Tattersall trying to give Bess his maiden five-wicket haul for Yorkshire following his move from Somerset.
Earlier in the day, Ballance did what was necessary to grind out a defendable target, anchoring the middle order with a 151-ball knock until he was bowled shouldering arms to Jack Carson (5-85).
However, it was the last-wicket pair which really turned the tide, as Willey (28 not out) and South African paceman Olivier (21) scored quick runs before lunch to make the Sussex chase more daunting.
Sussex coach Ian Salisbury:
“This is a terrific, hard fought game of cricket. We’re going into the last day believing we can still win.
“I’ve seen two outstanding young off-spinners out there. I’m pleased for Dom Bess, who had a tough winter. But Jack Carson is becoming a sensational off-spinner.
“He’s a talented boy with the world at his feet. He’s a feisty Irishman who works hard – and now he’s getting the rewards for all the hard work he puts in. He’s an attacking bowler who’s always looking to get wickets.”
Yorkshire off-spinner Dom Bess:
“It’s not about me, it’s about the team. If I take five wickets, that’s brilliant as long as we win the game. Before this I didn’t have a pole – I had nought for about 300.
“After India I started hating cricket. I had some tough lessons in the winter. But I also had some great support.
“I’m still 23. I will know my game more in four years. Now the big thing is putting in performances for Yorkshire, building pressure and taking wickets.”