Michael Yardy marked his final match at Hove with a century as Sussex secured maximum batting points on another day truncated by rain on the south coast.
The left-hander, 34, who is retiring at the end of the season, struck 104 – his 23rd first-class century.
Chris Jordan hit five fours and a six in his 42 as Sussex made 409 all out.
Ex-England opener Marcus Trescothick fired a rapid unbeaten 53 as Somerset reached 114-2 in reply – 295 behind – when rain ended play prematurely.
In among all the angst, anger and disappointment sport can bring, sometimes it throws up a bit of romance. This was the case at Hove as Michael Yardy scored his 23rd first-class century on his final appearance at his home ground before he retires at the end of the season.
Very often long careers end with more of a whimper than a flourish – even Don Bradman messed up his final innings – but since announcing his retirement Yardy has scored two championship centuries at the ground he has called home for the past 15 years and when he finishes after next week’s match it will be with almost 200 first-class matches to his name and more than 10,000 runs.
Michael Yardy’s first-class career
After delays on day one, the second day’s proceedings began 90 minutes late at 12:00 BST.
Sussex resumed on 303-6 but only five had been added when Ashar Zaidi was trapped lbw by Jamie Overton in the second over for 91, ending a seventh-wicket partnership with Yardy of 137.
This was a typical Yardy century combining dogged determination with crunching drives, well-timed sweeps and delicate dabs. Not only did this innings provide a heartwarming story, it was a hugely important one for his county given the situation they had found themselves in – 223 runs were added to the score during the time he was in the middle. He certainly does not look ready to retire to one of Hove’s famous blue-and-white deckchairs.
There is affection for Yardy across the county circuit and the Hove crowd rose as one with a cheer as he clipped a four to bring up three figures. His Sussex helmet was removed and he kissed the badge, raised his arms aloft and received a warm embrace from his partner, Chris Jordan, and was applauded by all the Somerset players.
Sussex all-rounder Michael Yardy:
“I was a bit nervous this morning, thinking I want to get to a hundred, and it was nice because I scored quite quickly, whereas last night it was quite a slow period.
“I was very nervous, even from the 80s, because it was a real goal of mine.
“It was a bit emotional out there because I’ve played here all my life from the age of 11. It’s a bit sad that it’s coming to an end, but it’s nice to go out in a good way.”
Somerset, with one eye on the weather, began their reply briskly but it was Jordan, who has been called up to England’s T20 squad for this winter’s tour to the UAE, who made the first breakthrough, getting the usually impeccably footed Tom Abell in a tangle. The ever-reliable Steve Magoffin got the wicket of Tom Cooper, with a thick inside edge to Jordan. Rain prematurely ended the day with Somerset 114 for two.