Shivnarine Chanderpaul took the spotlight from Ricky Ponting on the Australian's LV= County Championship debut for Surrey with his first century for Derbyshire on the opening day at Derby.
Ponting watched from the slip cordon as the 38-year-old West Indies Test star and Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen staged a recovery that saw the bottom team in Division One close a rain-shortened day on 232 for two, the third-wicket pair sharing the first 200 stand for Derbyshire against Surrey.
Chanderpaul, pictured, was applauded by Ponting when he celebrated his 67th first-class century and undefeated on 112, with Madsen 92 not out, when bad light ended play eight overs early.
It made the three-hour wait for the match to begin worthwhile for Derbyshire supporters after the rain which washed out yesterday's Yorkshire Bank 40 game between the teams had left the County Ground outfield saturated.
When umpires Neil Bainton and Nigel Cowley decided conditions had improved enough for the action to begin at 3.15pm, Madsen decided to bat after winning the toss for the first time in a championship game this season.
Jade Dernbach had been called into the England squad as cover for Tim Bresnan but Surrey's attack made early inroads with Chris Tremlett striking in the first over.
Derbyshire's decision looked a dubious one when Tremlett bowled Chesney Hughes, who failed to go forward or back to his first ball.
Home supporters feared the worst when Billy Godleman joined him in the pavilion; the left-hander appeared to be settling in when he pushed forward at Tim Linley and was well caught low at third slip by Zander de Bruyn for 17.
At 29 for two, Derbyshire were struggling but Chanderpaul and Madsen played positively to take the initiative away from Surrey.
Although Linley had removed Godleman, his bowling was inconsistent and Stuart Meaker's erratic spell was easily picked off by the third-wicket pair.
Chanderpaul was playing his most fluent innings since he joined Derbyshire and reached his third half-century for the county from 65 balls.
Madsen completed his own fifty by glancing Linley to the fine-leg boundary, and Tremlett was driven through the covers and whipped over midwicket for consecutive fours by Chanderpaul.
The latter was now in complete control, his century arriving off only 116 balls when he eased Meaker through cover.
Shortly after the double-century stand came up, the umpires ruled the light was too poor and took the players off with Chanderpaul and Derbyshire in control.