Durham scored runs with ease at the Seat Unique Riverside before taking three wickets to leave Sussex staring at an innings defeat on day 2 in their County Championship match.
In blue sky conditions, Scott Borthwick wasted no time in pushing Durham forward as he and Michael Jones reached their half centuries before lunch and the hosts wiped out the remaining deficit.
James Coles struck shortly after lunch, removing Borthwick lbw after a fast-paced 82, before Jones was caught down the legside by debutant keeper Charlie Tear four short of a century.
Nic Maddinson added 50-run partnerships with David Bedingham and Chris Benjamin before he chopped on for 90 off Faheem Ashraf as Durham pushed towards a declaration.
Bad light played its part again as the teams left the field just before 5pm, with Durham just short of maximum batting points. But they returned shortly after to gain the final batting point and declare with a lead of 297.
Durham then turned the screws as Ali Orr was run out due to a mix up with Tom Haines. Ben Raine then removed Tom Alsop and Tom Clark for ducks before bad light ended play early again to leave Sussex 6-3, still 291 behind.
After making 90 today, Nic Maddinson said: “I felt like I’ve been batting pretty well the last few weeks.
“I’ve learnt a few lessons and had some good experiences while I’ve been here. You always want to make 100 as a batter but playing positive allowed us to get a bowl at them tonight.”