Sussex v Hampshire, Hove, 3rd day July 13, 2011

Briggs gives Hampshire slight advantage

Sussex 240 and 82 for 3 v Hampshire 206 and 266

Sussex's County Championship match against Hampshire was finely balanced going into the final day at Hove.

A fascinating penultimate day ended with Sussex 82 for 3, needing 233 for a fourth victory of the season after winning promotion back into the top flight last year. But with the south coast derby delicately poised, it is relegation-threatened Hampshire who are more desperate to register what would be their first win of the season.

After resuming on 61 for 2, Hampshire were finally dismissed for 266 following an impressive half century from Michael Carberry, who is playing his first championship match since blood clots were discovered on his lungs eight months ago.

Carberry's career was under threat in November, just eight months after playing a Test match for England in Bangladesh. But after being given the all-clear earlier this month, he played a second XI match last week before replacing the injured Michael Lumb at number three in Hampshire's side.

Having been dismissed cheaply in Hampshire's first innings, Carberry made a gutsy 59 to help his side make the highest innings total of the match. He faced 136 balls during his vigil before attempting a slog-sweep too many against Monty Panesar six overs before lunch. James Anyon (3 for 35) and Amjad Khan (3 for 47) were the pick of the Sussex bowlers.

Nightwatchman Danny Briggs had started the day by frustrating Sussex with 21 before Rana Naved-ul-Hasan got some extra bounce and found his outside edge. Only James Vince and Sean Ervine, who were caught behind either side of lunch, failed to make double figures.

Neil McKenzie was bowled shouldering arms to Panesar for 34, and Hampshire's lower order also contributed potentially match-winning runs. Dominic Cork lofted a six against Panesar during his 25 and Kabir Ali, dropped on 27, had made his highest score of the season when he was the last to go, caught in the covers for 32.

The wicket was not getting any easier to bat on, as Sussex discovered during the final session. Hampshire captain Cork delivered a beauty that surprised Ed Joyce for bounce on its way through to Michael Bates, when another lengthy Danny Briggs spell was under way from the Sea End.

The left-arm spinner held a return catch to dismiss Sussex's other opener, Chris Nash, before captain Murray Goodwin became his 100th first-class victim in his next over, caught by Liam Dawson at silly mid-off.

Sussex's hopes rested largely on Luke Wells (29 not out) and England's Matt Prior (2 not out), who shepherded their side to stumps with no further loss.