Sussex face an uphill battle to avoid defeat on the final day of their Championship clash with Worcestershire at Hove.

Worcestershire will start as strong favourites to wrap up victory in the morning needing another 200 runs with ten wickets in hand.

Sussex let the initiative slip as they lost wickets at regular intervals in their second innings, going from 129-1 to 290 all out – a lead of 246.

Worcestershire’s openers Daryl Mitchell and first innings centurion Richard Oliver then got through 14 overs safely as they reached 47-0 at the close.

With question marks over whether Tymal Mills – who batted but was off the field in the evening session – will bowl tomorrow it reduces Sussex’s prospects of victory even further.

Sussex will also be hampered by the absence of a frontline spinner on a pitch where Sachithra Senanayake and Alexei Kervezee claimed seven wickets in Sussex’s second innings.

Kervezee led the way by removing the dangerous Matt Machan for 55 just before lunch and then claiming the key scalps of Ed Joyce (82) and Luke Wright (21) early in the afternoon session.

It was an impressive performance from the Netherlands international who had never taken a wicket in the Championship before.

Senanayake then mopped up the tail as he remove Ashar Zaidi, Steve Magoffin, Tymal Mills and Ajmal Shahzad to finish with figures of 4-50.

Ben Brown made 44 and Shahzad a potentially vital 35 to push the score up to 290 but there were failures again for Luke Wells (4) and Craig Cachopa (0).