TOUR MATCH, Hove:
Day three: Australia 349-7 & 379-7 v Sussex 311
Hughes improved on a first-innings score of 15
Phil Hughes and Michael Clarke were the pick of Australia's batsmen as they finished on 379-7 on day three of their pre-Ashes warm-up game against Sussex.
On a day of slow scoring, Hughes amassed 78 before being clean-bowled by Pepler Sandri, while Clarke was still standing on 75 when his side declared.
Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich and Michael Hussey also had useful batting practice with the first Test just 12 days away.
A draw now seems likely with the hosts 417 runs behind and a day remaining.
Despite some solid scores, the Australian batting line-up was spared a more thorough examination with Sussex resting Yasir Arafat, Dwayne Smith and Jason Lewry.
The blunted attack rarely seemed like dislodging either opener until a delivery from all-rounder Robin Martin-Jenkins found some lift back of a length.
Katich's miscued pull shot has duly gobbled up by Luke Wright at mid-on, reducing the tourists to 93-1.
Joined by Ponting at the crease, Hughes looked to prove he had learned to build a score during his time with Middlesex earlier this summer.
But eventually his patience wore thin and, five runs after being spilled at slip off Ollie Rayner, the 20-year-old paid the price for a wild heave across the line.
Ponting accelerated the scoring with 71 runs off 76 balls, but his eagerness saw him hole out to James Kirtley as he attempted a drive over long-on.
A sluggish innings from Marcus North ended just before tea and Hussey followed just short of his half-century after the interval.
Leg-spinner Will Beer extracted some bite from the Hove pitch and turned one back between bat and pad to end the left-hander's innings on 40.
After clearing the boundary rope for his only runs, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin's attempt to repeat the trick saw him top-edge Rayner to mid-wicket.
But, as in the first innings, Australia's long tail kept the scoreboard turning over and Clarke combined with Brett Lee to add 100 runs in 19 overs before the latter's demise at the hands of Beer.