Sussex’s batsmen face a tough examination on the final day if they are to avoid a second consecutive defeat in the Championship.

Yorkshire put themselves in a commanding position at Arundel thanks to an unbeaten 161 from Jonny Bairstow which allowed them to declare on 470-7.

That gave them a lead of 154 which had been reduced to 133 at the close after Luke Wells and Chris Nash safely negotiated ten overs at the end of the day.

Sussex’s hopes of saving the game will not be helped by a hamstring injury to skipper Ed Joyce which kept him off the field all day and means he will not be allowed to bat until No.7.

Yorkshire had begun the day still trailing Sussex’s first innings total of 316 by 108 and their hopes of making quick inroads into that were not helped by a short rain break.

Jack Leaning was then agonisingly dismissed one short of his maiden first class century by a sensational one-handed catch by James Tredwell off his own bowling.

Steve Magoffin then picked up the wicket of the dangerous Aaron Finch for just three – trapped lbw – to keep the game in the balance at lunch with Yorkshire 274-5.

It was the visitors’ day from then on in however as Bairstow moved to his 11th first class century – and first in the Championship for more than a year – from 195 balls.

Together he put on 138 with Tim Bresnan for the sixth wicket with the watchful Bresnan reaching his 50 from 140 balls.

At tea Yorkshire’s lead was 66 and only in the evening session did they start to up the tempo on another attritional day of cricket.

Bairstow hit Tredwell for two sixes down the ground and also cleared the ropes with a pull off Lewis Hatchett.

Bresnan was dropped on 63 by Rory Hamilton-Brown at slip off Tredwell but added just five more runs before being bowled behind his legs by Magoffin.

Azeem Rafiq became Tredwell’s third victim in a marathon spell which saw him finish with figures of 158-3 from 59 overs when he looped a catch to mid-off.

Bairstow reached his 150 from 278 balls before Yorkshire declared on 470-7 to leave their bowlers ten overs to have a blast at Sussex.

Nash and Wells stood firm but will know the hard work is yet to come tomorrow.