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Twenty wickets on day three leaves tourists with tiny chase for victory

Twenty wickets fell on day three of Sussex versus Australia ‘A’ at Arundel Castle as the match raced towards a conclusion.

Having bowled out Sussex for 120 in their second innings deep into the extra half an hour that had been added to the day’s play, the visitors will need eleven runs for victory when play resumes on day four.

After a fruitless quest for wickets on day two that saw the Australians resume their first innings on 203 without loss this morning, Sussex received an early boost when Abi Sakande had Marcus Harris caught behind in the fifth over having added just nine to his overnight score off 100.

Three overs later and Mir Hamza found Kurtis Patterson’s outside edge with an away swinger to give Adam Rouse his second catch.

A 61-run third-wicket partnership threatened to make the home side toil once again, but Luke Wells trapped Travis Head lbw with around 20 minutes until the lunch break.

The second new-ball proved far deadlier than the first when it was taken two overs into the afternoon session.

Having reached 313 for three, the visitors then lost their next seven wickets for just 60 runs.

Hamza’s dismissal of centurion Joe Burns via Varun Chopra in the slips started the collapse, with the Pakistani removing Will Pucovski shortly afterwards.

Sakande was soon in on the act, uprooting Michael Neser’s off-stump with a seaming delivery and then pinning James Pattinson in front to leave the Autralians 76 runs ahead on 339 for 7.

Tim Paine and Jackson Bird counter-attacked briefly to add 26 for the eighth wicket, but the end came quickly when the Australian Test captain nibbled at an Aaron Thomason away swinger to give Rouse his fourth catch of the innings.

Bird was lbw to Wells before Hazlewood played on to Thomason wrap up the Australia ‘A’ innings on 373, a lead of 110.

Sussex’s openers Phil Salt and Chopra looked like they might bat Sussex back into the game as they took their side to 30 for 0. But the Australian seamers had other ideas.

Chopra was first to go for 21 when he was lbw to Neser. Bird then removed Wells, Laurie Evans and Delray Rawlins inside ten deliveries from the Park End.

Phil Salt was next, falling for 20 to a beauty of a delivery from Pattinson that nipped back and clipped the top of off stump.

The spin of Jon Holland accounted for Rouse and Will Beer – both caught at slip – and Thomason who was bowled.

There was some resistance from Aneesh Kapil (33 not out) and Abi Sakande which took Sussex into the lead, but when the latter was lbw to Pattinson the innings was over one ball later as Hamza was bowled for a golden duck.

Regulations meant that there was no time left for Australia ‘A’ to knock off their meagre target and so both sides will return on Wednesday for what will be a very short day’s cricket.

A full scorecard is available on the Sussex Cricket Match Centre.