Gatting's first Championship ton helps Sussex get on top
|LV County Championship Division One, New Road|
|Close, day three: Sussex 375 & 267-4, Worcestershire 222|
|Sussex 7pts, Worcestershire 4pts|
Joe Gatting hit his first Championship century to steer Sussex into a winning position in their clash with relegation rivals Worcestershire at New Road.
After bowling out the home side, 199-7 overnight, for 222, Sussex opted not to enforce the follow-on.
But the visitors then started piling up a big lead, reaching 267-4 before rain had the final say.
Gatting was still there at the close on 116, to bolster a dogged 60 earlier from Sussex opener Ed Joyce.
Sussex now look set for the victory which would virtually confirm their Division One status.
With a lead of 420, an overnight declaration seems likely. But, whatever the target, a Worcestershire win is a long shot.
Although one point from their final game in Durham next week will keep them ahead of Yorkshire, they are not yet sure of what will be needed to hold off Hampshire, should they beat Lancashire at Aigburth.
CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARIES
BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley:
"Sussex's decision to bat on looked a strange one, but clearly they are making sure they cannot lose rather than trying to win.
"Rain on the last day would help Worcestershire draw a game in which they have been outplayed.
"Eyes will also be on other games around the country, but it looks like being a tense last few days of the season."
BBC Radio Sussex's Alex Winter:
"Joe Gatting enlightened what was otherwise quite a docile day of cricket. He played carefully after both lunch and tea but showed a solid technique and some good strokes - particularly the back foot drive.
"Sussex obviously wanted to bat to ensure they could not lose the game and, in doing so, helped Worcestershire towards safety too.
"The day descended into farce though as the players trooped on and off for bad light and spectators were left for half an hour before the umpires finally declared the close of play."