Sussex are facing a monumental last-day battle to stave off home defeat by lowly Durham.

But head coach Jason Gillespie has not given up on the dream of an unlikely win.

The county closed day three at Hove on 59-3 having been set a victory target of 437.

Having lost Luke Wells and Harry Finch early, Sussex progressed from 4-2 as Will Beer (36) and Stiaan van Zyl (17 not out from 81 balls) added 55 before Beer was out lbw to Rushworth off the final ball of the penultimate over.

Rushworth is 3-11 overnight while Ollie Robinson, sent in as nightwatchman, has yet to face a ball.

Gillespie told The Argus: “We have got a bit of work to do, don’t we?

“We haven’t played the cricket we would have liked to have played here but we have got an opportunity to first save it.

“Ever the optimist, I always still think we can win from any position.

“We are realistic as well in that it is going to be a big challenge to save the game, let alone strive to win.

“But you have got to have that positive mindset.”

Alex Lees made 143 and Gareth Harte 77 as Durham declared their second innings on 284-3 and set Sussex 437 to win in a minimum of 126 overs.

Wells was unlucky to go at the start of the Sussex second innings, given out caught at slip when the ball appeared to come off only the pad.