Dom Bess brilliantly claimed his maiden five-wicket haul for Yorkshire to help them close in on an LV= Insurance County Championship victory over Sussex at Hove.
Sussex were set 235 to win shortly after lunch on day three and slipped from 81-2 to 86-5 in helpful conditions after tea, with the England off-spinner claiming all three.
They later closed on 136-6 and require a further 99 to win tomorrow.
Bess, on loan with the county in 2019, finished with a superb 5-33 from 22 overs as he bowled through a rib injury sustained whilst fielding late on day one.
Before the former Somerset man bowled opener Tom Haines in the first innings here, he had bowled 83 wicketless overs in the 2021 Championship.
But that was an unjust statistic for a 23-year-old who had previously bowled well without reward.
After the fall of Sussex’s fifth wicket, captain Ben Brown and all-rounder George Garton boosted their hopes of victory with a sixth-wicket stand of 50.
But Bess had Garton (21) caught behind with what proved to be the last ball of the day in the 52nd over.
Both unbeaten sides are chasing a second win in three Group Three fixtures, with Sussex leading the pre-game table with four more points than Yorkshire.
During the morning, Yorkshire, trailing by 71 on first innings, advanced their second innings from 163-5 overnight to 305 all out.
That included a 10th-wicket partnership of 51 between David Willey (28) and Duanne Olivier (21).
Gary Ballance completed an innings top-score of 74.
But he was one of five wickets to fall before lunch as the left-hander was lbw shouldering arms to Irish off-spinner Jack Carson.
Carson recorded a career best 5-85 in helpful conditions.
Bess made the initial breakthrough in the Sussex chase when he bowled an advancing Aaron Thomason – 45-1 in the 12th over.
Left-handed opener Haines led Sussex’s bright start with 37.
He had posted previous scores of 155, 87 and 86, the latter in the first innings of this fixture. So his wicket was always going to be key.
And it came in the fourth over of the evening when he was caught behind down leg off Jordan Thompson, leaving the score at 64-2 in the 23rd.
Thompson had taken the new ball alongside Olivier, bowling up the hill from the Sea End. The wicket, however, came when bowling from the Cromwell Road End.
Bess operated from the Sea End and put the win back in Yorkshire’s sight.
He had Tom Clark caught at silly mid-off by Harry Brook as Sussex slipped to 81-3 after 30 overs, still 154 away from victory.
He then bowled South African overseas Stiaan van Zyl shouldering arms in the 34th over and had Delray Rawlins caught by Tom Kohler-Cadmore running around from second slip with his next ball, leaving the score at 86-5.
Brown will begin day on 26, with Sussex far from out of the game.
During the morning, Ballance – 36 overnight – brought up his first first-class fifty since mid-August 2019 off 120 balls.
But he was one of four wickets to fall before lunch.
Nightwatchman Steve Patterson chopped on to George Garton’s left-arm pace, leaving Yorkshire at 194-6 in the 71st over – the 11th of the day.
Ballance was then lbw shouldering arms to Carson seven overs later as the White Rose fell to 226-7, a lead of 155.
Thompson and Bess fell to Ollie Robinson as the score fell to 254-9 in the 91st over – a lead of 183.
The Bess wicket came inside the final 10 minutes of the session and meant a delayed lunch break with nine wickets down.
And Willey and Olivier used the extra 30 minutes to push Yorkshire’s lead up above the magical 200-mark, something Adam Lyth said would be a tricky chase when chatting to the media at the end of day two.
Olivier was trapped lbw by Carson in the afternoon’s second over to end the innings. But events later in the day confirmed the crucial nature of their partnership.