Yorkshire face a tough fight to avoid defeat in their opening LV= County Championship game of the season after the Sussex batsmen strengthened their side's position on the second day at Headingley.

Andrew Gale's men go into tomorrow morning's play on 27-1 in their second innings, still 233 runs in arrears of their opponents, and already tomorrow is a crucial test of their skill and resolve on their return to the First Division.

Yorkshire partisans may be encouraged by the fact that their bowlers managed to dismiss Sussex for 356 in mid-afternoon but that was a total Ed Joyce's side would happily have settled for at the start of a day which was threatened by rain.

In the event the weather did not force the players from the field until 3.45pm, about ten minutes after Steve Magoffin had snared Alex Lees, caught by first slip Chris Jordan for four.

For most of the day, one or two Yorkshire bowlers were almost buying their wickets - no one more so than Jack Brooks, who had conceded 60 runs off 9.4 overs before he claimed four wickets in 15 balls for 15 runs.

Brooks finished with 4-76 and Azeem Rafiq's 15 overs cost 70 runs for the solitary success of Joe Gatting's wicket in mid-morning.

The main batsmen to capitalise upon any errors in line and length were the Sussex skipper Joyce, whose 140-ball 92 anchored his side's innings, and wicket-keeper Ben Brown, who made a sparkling 93 off 92 balls before a full-length ball from Brooks prevented him from reaching a deserved century.

The pair added 120 for the sixth wicket in 23 overs before Joyce edged Brooks to Adam Lyth at slip, and at times during the partnership it seemed that the Yorkshire bowlers and fielders were close to cracking under the extreme pressure being exerted.

To his credit, Brooks recovered his line after what had been a tough day for him but it was only appropriate that the last wicket of Monty Panesar should be claimed by Ryan Sidebottom, who ended the innings with 4-72 off 21.5 overs.