Durham's LV= County Championship title charge was held up by some determined Derbyshire batting and rain on the opening day of the Division One match at Derby.
In a contest crucial to both ends of the table, Durham's bowlers were only able to capture one wicket after Paul Collingwood won the toss and put the home side in to bat.
Chris Rushworth removed Ben Slater but Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen and Paul Borrington dug in to steer their side to 99 for one when rain washed out play for the day after lunch.
Although Derbyshire played with the spirit and grit that had seen them win three of their last four Championship games to earn a fighting chance of avoiding relegation, Durham would have been disappointed with their bowling in the morning.
A green pitch and overcast skies suggested conditions would favour Durham's seam attack but they failed to put enough pressure on the batsmen after Collingwood called correctly.
Durham's pace battery ran through Sussex at Chester-le-Street last week to go top of the table but this time the attack, which included Jamie Harrison in place of the experienced Mitchell 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.
Onions appeared to be troubled by the footholds and Rushworth initially strayed too often down the leg-side, which helped Slater and Borrington to survive the first 48 minutes before Durham broke through.
Slater had 13 off 40 deliveries when he was bowled by a full-length ball from Rushworth 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 in his 32.
He survived a confident shout for lbw early in his innings and edged Onions just short of third slip on 17 when the England 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.