Sussex were thwarted in their pursuit of victory against Kent on the final day of their County Championship match.

Spinner Jack Carson took 3-87 and Sean Hunt 2-48, but despite a cluster of wickets in the final hour, Sussex were unable to polish off Kent’s tail.

Hastings-born Harry Finch (pictured), who spent 12 years at Hove, made 115 from 212 balls as Kent closed on 275-7, after Sussex had declared on 332-4, 40 minutes into the morning session.

The visitors began day four on 277-3 and Matt Quinn, who finished with 3-118, took the only wicket for Kent when he had Oliver Carter caught by Marcus O’Riordan for 18.

Travis Head finished 49 not out as Sussex declared, setting Kent a target of 349 to win.

The hosts’ reply got off to a desperate start when Ollie Robinson, who was skippering the side in Ben Brown’s absence, had Joe Gordon caught behind for a duck in the first over, but O’Riordan and Finch batted through to lunch, with Kent on 52 for one.

O’Riordan was dropped three times before he was finally run out in bizarre circumstances for 47. Chasing a single, he nearly ran into his batting partner Finch.

As he veered sideways to avoid a collision, the ball was gathered by Tom Haines, who ran him out with a direct-hit.

Heino Kuhn faced 27 balls before he was bowled by Carson for four, leaving Kent on 139 for three at tea.

Finch reached three figures with a glance off Carson that just eluded leg slip before nestling against the rope, but Kent’s outside hopes of a win dimmed when Dan Lincoln was out for 41, caught by Robinson off Carson.

Conversely, Sussex’s hopes surged when Carson then had Harry Houillon caught by Danial Ibrahim for nine.

Hunt had Finch caught behind and when he trapped Hamid Qadri lbw for four there were still five overs remaining, but Harry Podmore and debutant Bailey Wightman survived a dramatic final spell to finish not out on 36 and nought respectively.

The draw meant Sussex finished bottom of Group C, one place below Kent, leaving both sides in the third tier when the Championship resumes in late August.

Sussex now turn their attentions to the Vitality Blast as they travel to the Ages Bowl to face Hampshire tomorrow night (7pm)