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Sussex struggle as Middlesex push on

Sussex struggle as Middlesex push on

Middlesex dominated proceedings on day three of their LV= County Championship match against Sussex, and will hope to wrap things up on day four.

The weather may not have been quite as good as the previous two days, but Middlesex remained on song with Ollie Rayner in particular maintaining his run of good form.

Rayner picked up 5 wickets as Sussex were bowled out for 222 and made to follow on. Rayner bowled with accuracy and variation to claim his 5 for 63, and will be pleased to have put a performance in against his former employers.

The Sussex batsmen never really recovered from the controversy surrounding Matt Prior's dismissal the evening before, where Prior claimed a catch at short leg had been grounded. Loose shots and poor decision making defined their first innings, and once Beer and Wright were sent back to the Pavilion just before lunch it was clear that Middlesex would make them bat again.

Their second innings could not have got off to a worse start when opener Wells was LBW to Murtagh without a run on the board.

At this stage it looked as though the last day of this four day match wouldn't be needed. Yardy and Nash had other ideas though as they set about putting together a partnership.

It was all going well for a while as they put on fifty together, but a moment of madness and more poor decision making led to Nash being run out. An embarrasing way to go with his team attempting to save the match.

Next it was Yardy to depart as James Harris found his flow, having the former England batsmen caught for 41. Current England batsman Matt Prior now made his way out to the middle, looking to put right what he clearly felt was a wrong decision yesterday.

The England player of the year made a solid start, reaching 18, before playing a cut shot too early and toe-ending a James Harris delivery to a grateful Tim Murtagh at mid-on.

The writing looked on the wall for Sussex now. 123/4 and Middlesex could again sense a three day victory, but Ed Joyce and Luke Wright applied themselves well in the final hour.

The experienced pair set about batting properly and their 125 run partnership has given Sussex the faint hope of a draw in this match as they ended day four on 228/4.

Joyce and Wright will make their way back to the middle, just before 11am tomorrow, on 75 and 48 respectively.

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