A 78-run partnership between Ben Brown and Michael Burgess on Sunday helped Sussex recover from 88-5 to finish another weather-interrupted day at Edgbaston on 194-6.
After a positive start from Phil Salt (29 from 35 balls), an inspired spell from Warwickshire quick, Olly Stone – who finished day three with all six of the Sussex wickets to his name - blew the top order away.
Burgess was clearly not affected by what had gone before him, playing some sublime shots on his way to 48 off just 45 balls.
Cut shots and cover drives were his most potent weapons as he struck nine boundaries before becoming Stone’s sixth victim (and the fourth Sussex batsman to be caught behind by Tim Ambrose) with the score on 166.
Brown was more circumspect and his caution ensured that he made it to the close unbeaten on 43 from 89 balls.
After a lengthy delay for bad light and rain brought an early tea, the Sussex skipper and Ollie Robinson (12*) did well to survive the eight overs remaining in the day following a 6.10pm resumption.
Earlier, Warwickshire had resumed on the third morning on 284-9. Ambrose (81) and Chris Wright (27*) took their tenth-wicket stand to 77 in 22 overs before the former nicked a superb leg-cutter from Ishant Sharma. Sharma, making his Sussex debut, ended with three for 53 and David Wiese four for 56.
In reply, Sussex advanced to 30 without loss, before Stone came on and dismissed Salt with his second ball.
Then came a sensational burst of 4-11 in 13 balls from the former Northamptonshire player. Stiaan van Zyl, Luke Wells and Luke Wright edged behind and Harry Finch top-edged a pull straight upwards and watched it land in the hands of short-leg Sam Hain.
It was then down to Burgess, Brown and Robinson to get Sussex to within six runs of a first batting bonus point and – with 150 overs lost so far in the– make a draw the most likely result on the final day.
Speaking at the close, Burgess said: "I was pleased to score some runs, though disappointed to get out when I did, just as rain was starting to fall.
“Olly Stone bowled quite quickly and well and they just had one of those spells where we seemed to keep nicking them and they seemed to keep catching them.
"I went in at an interesting time when a few wickets had gone down and said to Ben [Brown] let's just see it through to lunch and then go again and we managed to do that.
“I like to be positive and if a ball is there to hit, I'll hit it, and a couple came along early on which I managed to put away. I like batting with Ben because he is strong and confident and always talking to you."