Sussex took two crucial wickets in the final hour of the second day to strengthen their position in the Specsavers County Championship Division Two match against Middlesex at Hove.

Trailing by 234, Middlesex had reached 105-2 when they lost Dawid Malan (19) and Paul Stirling for a second-ball duck in successive overs.

Their hopes of setting Sussex a testing target on a good pitch now largely rest with opener Sam Robson who reached a 108-ball half-century and was 61 not out at stumps with his side 145-4, still 89 behind.

Dawid Malan (28) played on to give Sussex debutant Elliott Hooper, a 23-year-old left-arm spinner from Hastings making his first-class debut, a memorable first wicket.

Robinson then pegged back Paul Stirling’s off stump for a second-ball duck to take his 50th Championship scalp and complete his second ten-wicket haul of the season against Middlesex.

Earlier, Will Beer made 77 as Sussex’s last three wickets put on 151 to take them to 309.