Essex's Jaik Mickleburgh managed to hit his second century of the LV= County Championship season on a rain-shortened third day against Glamorgan.
The opening batsman moved on from his overnight total of 68 to reach 124 not out in the two hours of play that were possible, helping the hosts to close on 240-2 at Chelmsford.
They trail by 82 runs but with just a day to go, securing the win they need to keep their slim promotion hopes alive looks a tall order without some negotiating between the two captains.
Resuming on 107-1, Essex added a further 245 runs before Greg Smith became the one and only wicket to fall during Thursday's action.
He had made his 16 runs with four boundaries but was dismissed looking to find the rope again, cutting Michael Hogan towards gully where Dean Cosker held a sharp catch.
After that, Mickelburgh and Owais Shah dominated proceedings with a flurry of aggressive strokes as they posted a century partnership in 24 overs.
Mickelburth completed his his century from 155 balls but was denied the chance to keep on batting throughout the afternoon when rain arrived shortly after the players left the field for lunch.
With no improvement in the weather, umpires Jeff Evans and Steve O'Shaughnessy formally called off play for the day at 4.30 p.m.
Shah ended the day on 59, only his second half-century in the Championship this summer, having hit six boundaries and two glorious sixes.