Gloucestershire pair Chris Dent and Gareth Roderick both made half-centuries between the showers but their Specsavers County Championship match against Sussex is heading towards a draw.

Only 49 overs in two sessions were possible on the third day at Arundel Castle with Gloucestershire reaching 146-3 in reply to Sussex’s 351-8. With just a day left a stalemate looks certain which would at least keep Sussex in the top three promotion places in Division Two.

Umpires Ian Blackwell and Neil Bainton took the players off again at 5pm because of light drizzle and play was abandoned at 5.40pm. So far, 123 overs have been lost to rain during the match.

Dent made 851 runs and was Gloucestershire’s leading run scorer in the Championship last season but his 59 on a slow pitch was only his second half-century of the season.

After the early loss of Miles Hammond, the left-hander shared stands of 60 with James Bracey (21) and Roderick, who was unbeaten on 51 when the rain returned an hour after play had resumed at 4pm following a three-hour delay.

And Dent will have been disappointed with his dismissal. On a slow pitch he had survived one escape when he was dropped at third slip by Luke Wells off Ollie Robinson.

He had moved onto 59 when he chased a ball from Chris Jordan down the leg side and Sussex wicketkeeper Ben Brown dived to his right to pull off a good catch. Dent faced 141 balls and hit eight fours.

Roderick did the bulk of the scoring in the hour after the resumption and his 88-ball half-century included six boundaries.

Earlier, Sussex had declared on their overnight score of 351 for 8 after rain had wiped out two sessions on the second day.