Steve Magoffin took five wickets before lunch to put Somerset on the ropes at Taunton yesterday, but the hosts fought back to take the lead against Sussex.
The 34-year-old reduced Somerset to 39 for 5, in response to Sussex’s 214, but half-centuries from Craig Overton and Craig Kieswetter helped the home side recover and take a 75-run first-innings lead in the First Division game as they were all out for 289.
Magoffin, who has terrorised Somerset since joining Sussex in 2012, added another wicket after lunch to take his overall haul against them to 36 in that time, but his total of 6 for 60 was not enough to stop the hosts from nudging in front.
Overton just missed out on his first ton, finishing on 86, but his knock, which included nine boundaries, was vital to Somerset’s revival.
Sussex finished on 26 without loss in their second innings at stumps to trail by 49 runs going into the third day.
Sussex’s Ed Joyce had brought up his century at the start of the day with a four to add to his overnight 99, before Alfonso Thomas trapped him in front.
Then Magoffin got to work. He bowled Marcus Trescothick for a duck. Johann Myburgh (3) and Nick Compton (13) were next to fall. Magoffin was not finished and trapped James Hildreth, who made seven, lbw, before Alviro Petersen was also caught behind as the Australian claimed his 400th first-class wicket. At that point Magoffin looked unplayable, but Peter Trego and Kieswetter began a rebuilding job either side of lunch.
After Trego (27) became Magoffin’s sixth victim, Overton forged a 77-run partnership with Thomas, but they fell to Rory Hamilton-Brown in quick succession to wrap up Somerset’s first innings.