Sussex have built a slight first innings lead over Surrey after a patient morning session on Day Three at Horsham.
Resuming on 90-6, Luke Wells and Naveed Arif Gondal added 82 runs before lunch in blustery but dry conditions to give Sussex a 48-run lead.
But Arif Gondal was caught on 34 with the last ball before lunch to leave the game right in the balance.
After a slow start Wells brought up his 50 - justifying his selection in place of the dropped Murray Goodwin - and a pull to the rope from the left hander took Sussex beyond their opponent’s 124 first innings score.
Having allowed Wells most of the early strike Arif Gondal took a while to find his first boundary, but the following ball he drove Murali Kartik over long on for Sussex’s first six of the innings.
After losing four wickets in the six overs played yesterday because of the heavy rain, the Sussex pair’s patient approach was much needed, though Surrey found a late breakthrough when Murali Kartik had Arif Gondal caught behind by Gareth Batty with the final ball of the session.
Sussex will resume on 172-7 with Wells edging towards his century, unbeaten on 82 with Steve Magoffin joining him at the crease.
Despite yesterday’s heavy rain the pitch at Cricketfield Road looks immaculate with the ground staff doing an excellent job to get today started on time while a host of other County Championship games are yet to begin.