Alexei Kervezee and Sachithra Senanayake took seven wickets between them to restrict Sussex to 290 in their second innings, and Worcestershire avoided losing any early evening wickets after being set a target of 247.
Sussex looked poised to bat Worcestershire out of the game when they reached 129-1, but they lost Matt Machan for 55 and wickets fell at regular intervals afterwards.
Ed Joyce made 82 for Sussex before becoming one of three victims for Kervezee, who rarely bowls but was given the chance to try out his occasional off-spin on a pitch offering help.
Kervezee, whose only previous wickets came while playing for Holland in 2008, ended with figures of 3-72 but it was Sri Lanka off-spinner Senanayake who made the difference late in the innings as he took the final four wickets to fall and denied Sussex the chance of setting a tougher target.
“I must admit it was a surprise when (skipper) Daryl (Mitchell) asked??me to bowl and I was delighted with how it went,” Kervezee said.
“I have tried to bowl a bit quicker and there was some rough to aim for and??I’m pretty chuffed to have got Joyce and (Luke) Wright out – they are not a bad couple??of scalps for my first Championship wickets.”
Mitchell (16) and first innings centurion Richard Oliver (23) made it to the close without much trouble, with Worcestershire 47-0 heading into the final day.
Sean Ervine’s century improved Hampshire’s hopes of a first win of the season against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
The Zimbabwean all-rounder struck a near-flawless 102 – his 17th first-class??century – to first steer his side out of trouble and then turn the pressure on??to the home team.
Hampshire were all out for 339 in their second innings, leaving Warwickshire a??target of 379, which would be the biggest score of the match, in a day and 11??overs.
The Bears negotiated those 11 overs without loss and will begin the last day on 47-0, Ian Westwood hitting seven fours as he started confidently and reached 37 by stumps.
Champions Yorkshire gave themselves a chance of victory against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, thanks in the main to young batsman Jack Leaning.
Leaning scored his maiden first-class century, finishing with 116 as Yorkshire made 441 all out, a tiny first innings lead of only 13. He hit 12 fours and a six in a 198-
A draw seemed the likeliest result, and probably still is, but Yorkshire’s bowlers gave themselves a chance by claiming three Nottinghamshire wickets before the close.
Teenager Matthew Fisher trapped Steven Mullaney for 20, and there were also wickets for Jack Brooks and Tim Bresnan as Notts finished the day on 74-3, a lead of 61.