Sussex survived a determined recovery by Middlesex to beat them by seven wickets inside three days at Hove.

It was their first victory in the Specsavers County Championship Division Two since they beat the same opposition at Lord’s at the start of June.

Middlesex had conceded a first innings advantage of 234 but some rearguard batting in their second innings, and particularly a last wicket stand of 79 in 16 overs between Steve Finn and Tim Murtagh, saw them reach a total of 378, setting a brittle Sussex batting line-up 145 to win.

That target looked even trickier when Phil Salt, driving loosely, was bowled between bat and pad by Tim Murtagh for ten, Tom Haines received a bail-trimmer from Steve Finn which angled into him before straightening and the out-of-form Harry Finch was out for a pair – his second in as many matches - when he edged a sharp ball from Murtagh into the slips.

That left Sussex struggling at 44-3 but an unbroken century partnership between Alex Carey (69) and Luke Wells (48) saw Sussex home.

The contest ended when spinner Nathan Sowter came on at 88-3 and Carey hit his first three deliveries for legside sixes, followed by another later in the over.