Derby rain frustrates Durham
A combination of stubborn batting and adverse weather held up Durham's title charge on the opening day of their clash with Derbyshire.
In a contest crucial to both ends of Division One, Durham's bowlers were only able to reduce the hosts to 99-1 after Paul Collingwood put them in to bat at Derby.
Chris Rushworth removed Ben Slater but Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen (32 not out) and Paul Borrington (30no) dug in to steady the ship before rain washed out play after 31 overs.
A green pitch and overcast skies suggested conditions would favour Durham's seam attack but they failed to put enough pressure on the batsmen following Collingwood's call.
Durham's pacemen had run through Sussex at home last week to go top of the table, but this time the attack, which included Jamie Harrison in place of the experienced Mitch Claydon, lacked the accuracy and consistency to make early inroads.
The ball was swinging and the murky light meant the County Ground floodlights were soon on but neither Graham Onions or Rushworth made the batsmen play enough in their opening spells.
Slater had made 13 off 40 deliveries when he was bowled by a full-length ball from Rushworth to give Durham the breakthrough, but there were no more successes as Madsen and Borrington survived until lunch.
They were helped by an erratic spell from Harrison, who bowled five no-balls in seven overs - three of them in the space of five deliveries - and Madsen seized on anything on his pads to hit six fours.
He survived a confident shout for lbw early in his innings and edged Onions just short of third slip on 17 when the seamer switched ends, but the first session had belonged to Derbyshire.
Only one over was possible after lunch before the rain set in and with no sign of any improvement, umpires Trevor Jesty and Mark Saggers abandoned play for the day at 4.20pm.