Warwickshire in control despite Wright heroics
Sussex 251 and 201 for 5 v Warwickshire 481
Warwickshire closed in on their sixth win in nine County Championship Division One games after dominating for the third consecutive day against Sussex at Arundel.
Rikki Clarke scored an unbeaten 81 as the Bears stretched their first-innings lead to 230 before finally being dismissed for 481. Boyd Rankin and Jeetan Patel then took five quick wickets between them to leave hosts Sussex in danger of an innings defeat.
However, an unbroken partnership of 87 between Luke Wright (75 not out) and Ollie Rayner (29 not out) ensured the game will go to the fourth day with Sussex still trailing by 29 on 201 for 5 at the close.
Warwickshire took full control of the game in the morning as Keith Barker and Clarke stretched their seventh-wicket stand to 79. Wright broke the partnership with his fifth ball of the morning when he had Barker caught behind by Andrew Hodd driving at a wide ball for 52.
Monty Panesar trapped Chris Metters lbw for six but Patel maintained Warwickshire's momentum with a quickfire 21, which included a huge six off Panesar. The England spinner gained revenge when Patel top-edged a slog to midwicket to finish with figures of 3 for 88 from 44 overs.
Clarke launched Rayner for three sixes down the ground on his way to a season-best score but he was left stranded when Rankin gloved a lifting delivery from Amjad Khan to Hodd. Sussex's hopes of salvaging the game took a massive hit inside the opening six overs as they lost both openers.
Chris Nash (nine) tried to get his bat out of the way of a delivery from Rankin but only succeeded in getting an inside edge onto his stumps and Joyce (14) was trapped lbw by the Ireland bowler to leave Sussex wobbling at 35 for 2.
Murray Goodwin batted for more than an hour to score 10 but his vigil ended when he played no shot to a straight ball from Patel and was lbw. Luke Wells (32) had already survived a run out opportunity going for a suicidal single when he gave his wicket away by charging down the wicket to Patel and was stumped by Tim Ambrose.
Patel claimed his third wicket when Hodd tried to sweep a ball which was too full and was bowled to reduce Sussex to 114 for 5. With Rana Naved-ul-Hasan unlikely to bat after going to hospital for a scan on a shoulder injury, Warwickshire scented victory inside three days only to be held up by Wright and Rayner.