KUMAR Sangakkara is closing in on the inevitable century, but a scoring rate of three an over is going to leave Durham short of maximum batting points at Hove.

They were 238 for four from 79 overs at lunch and on a perfect day for batting Sangakkara has added 61 to his overnight 30.

Despite some classy strokes, the Sri Lankan was still short of his best and ten minutes before lunch he edged Jimmy Anyon where second slip would have been had Sussex not decided to post a deep gully and a backward point instead.

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Scott Borthwick fell in the day’s fourth over without addition to his 84 when he played back and edged a ball of low bounce from Anyon to the wicketkeeper.

Steve Magoffin again posed problems but remained wicketless and Sussex eventually turned to their part-time spinners, Ashar Zaidi, Luke Wells and Chris Nash.

A lofted straight drive by Sangakkara off Zaidi fell just short of the rope then a glorious cover drive off Jon Lewis took him to his 116-ball half-century with his eighth four.

Michael Richardson made 15 before falling to Wells’ sixth ball, playing back to the off-spinner and being adjudged lbw. He appeared to think he had nicked it on to his pad.

Paul Collingwood was on 20 at lunch.