Worcestershire CCC’s push for a first victory of the season was held up by opener Ed Joyce after Sussex were forced to follow on 213 behind on day three of the Specsavers County Championship clash at New Road.
The home side achieved their first objective in picking up the remaining four Sussex first innings wickets during the morning session for 86 runs to dismiss them for 278 although Ollie Robinson provided stern resistance with a half century.
But Joyce prevented Worcestershire from making significant inroads when Sussex launched their second innings just before lunch
The 37-year-old continued in the form which brought him a career best 250 in last week’s Championship match at Derby.
But he was finally dismissed with three overs remaining for a well constructed 74 from 179 balls with eight boundaries.
By the close Sussex had moved onto 137-3 - still 76 in arrears.
Worcestershire’s desire to take major steps forward today was increased with heavy rain forecast during the next 24 hours.
They are anxious to avoid further frustration caused by the elements after dominating the opening two days against Glamorgan last week before rain washed out the remainder of the contest at the Swalec Stadium.
Sussex resumed at 192 for six, still 299 behind, and Worcestershire made a good start with stand-in captain Ben Brown (55) caught behind as Ed Barnard claimed two wickets in the space of six balls.
The former England Under-19 player also had Lewis Hatchett caught at square leg but Steve Magoffin made 20 out of 43 in nine overs before he was bowled by Joe Leach.
Robinson finished unbeaten with 51 after Brett D’Oliveira bowled last man Stuart Whitttingham.
When Sussex launched their second innings, openers Joyce and Chris Nash figured in their second half century stand of the game in relatively untroubled fashion.
Jack Shantry broke through on 54 as Nash (26) attempted a cut and chopped the ball onto his stumps.
Joyce was joined by Wells and the pair were virtually becalmed for lengthy periods against a tight Worcestershire attack.
Their stand of 51 occupied 34 overs before Wells, who made 11 from 110 balls without a single boundary, nicked Henry to Tom Kohler-Cadmore at slip.
Then Barnard ended Joyce’s fine knock with Kohler-Cadmore again having a safe pair of hands.
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