BATE Borisov have a three-point lead in Group E of the Europa League after Sergey Sosnovskiy's early goal was enough to give them victory in Moldova.
Sosnovskiy's sixth-minute tap-in secured the points for Viktor Goncharenko's men but they were indebted to a superb performance from goalkeeper Sergey Veremko, who made a string of excellent saves to ensure the visitors held on to their slender advantage.
But there was little hint of the pressure they were to come under as they carved their hosts open with their first genuine attack.
Renan Bressan's inswinging corner came through a crowd of bodies and defender Sosnovskiy was left with the simplest of tasks as he slotted the ball home from inside the six-yard box.
The strike stunned Sheriff but they regrouped and were unfortunate not to be level midway through the opening half.
Florent Rouamba was given a clear sight of goal but his effort was athletically tipped round the post by Veremko, who then nudged Alexander Erokhin's effort over his bar moments later.
The siege continued as the keeper used his feet to deny Wilfreid Benjamin Balima's effort from distance before Milos Adamovic blazed over as Borisov somehow retained their lead.
Erokhin shot wide upon the resumption with Rouamba doing likewise just a few minutes later.
Pavel Nekhaychik was off target with a rare effort for the away side but they were soon under pressure again with Erokhin once more guilty of not working the goalkeeper.
As time began to run out Veremko was called into action as he held a powerful Franca Jymmy shot while Milos Adamovic fired over the bar to waste Sheriff's last chance of an equaliser.