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Rain continues to haunt Indian umpire

Derbyshire 135 for 7 (Harmison 3-49) trail Yorkshire 219 (Jaques 61) by 84 runs
Scorecard

Why Does It Always Rain On Me? The Travis song, first performed at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival, makes an appropriate soundtrack to this monsoon summer which, for the second day running, claimed the highly-anticipated clash at the top of Division Two between Derbyshire and Yorkshire at Chesterfield.

Queen's Park is one of the loveliest grounds in England but even this tree-ringed arena with its echoes of another age looks forlorn when a curtain of rain descends on it, leaving puddles of surface water on the outfield.

An early abandonment of the third day condemned what promised to be a thrilling contest between Yorkshire, the acknowledged promotion favourites, and an unsung Derbyshire side that is demanding growing respect to a watery stalemate. Even if the weather does allow for some play on the final day, there are now only bonus points to be gained.

Hopefully umpire Sunderan Ravi will draw some satisfaction from his visit to England as part of an Anglo-Indian umpiring exchange scheme which saw Tim Robinson go to India at the end of last year.

Ravi, who stood in two home Indian fixtures last winter, including England's Twenty20 victory in Kolkata, has certainly had quite an education in inhospitable English conditions.

He returns to Chennai on Sunday so the final day at Queen's Park is his last chance to stand in a county game. He was scheduled to umpire 11 days but the weather has allowed him only two full days, Wednesday at Chesterfield and a 2nd XI fixture between Middlesex and Surrey at Radlett.

He was at Cheltenham last week when the weather wrecked Gloucestershire's championship match against Essex when 100 overs were possible in the first two days and the last two were washed out. He, along with everyone else, will be hoping to avoid more of the same tomorrow.

Yorkshire's acting skipper Phil Jaques will share his feelings. His first ambition is for conditions to improve long enough for his bowlers to try and claim another bowling point and deny Derbyshire the 65 runs they require for a batting point.

"Every point is going to be crucial this season so we've got to try and get as much cricket as we can and try and get bonus points where we can," he said.

"Whenever we get an opportunity now, we've got to take it and play well. There's a real chance to get an extra point tomorrow if we can get an hour or two hours in, hopefully longer, but we have to be on the ball straight away.

"It's been a very frustrating summer, everyone is sick of sitting around and watching the rainfall, spectators and player alike, but we have just got to get on and prepare for cricket and hope for some windows of sunshine.

"Everyone is in the same boat but some have had it worse than others and I think we've had the worst of the weather. We were scratching our heads over breakfast this morning to work out if we have actually had a full four days of cricket in a Championship fixture this season and we couldn't come up with anything but we've just got to try and stay positive and hope the sun shines."

But whatever unfolds over the next two months, Jaques is relishing his return to Yorkshire and the chance of playing a part in a successful campaign.

"It's been a good start for me although it's been disrupted by the weather but it's been good fun being back. It does feel like coming home here at Yorkshire and I've really enjoyed my time here so far."