Derbyshire (9pts) 319 and 76 for 0 drew with Northamptonshire (6pts) 201 and 469

Northamptonshire's promotion hopes were hit by rain which ruined a potentially intriguing final day of the match at Chesterfield. Derbyshire started the fourth morning needing another 322 for victory but a violent electrical storm halted play after only 35 minutes.

Torrential rain left mini-lakes across the Queen's Park outfield and it was three hours before the match could resume. Sterling work by the groundstaff allowed the umpires to take the players back out at 2.30pm but after 25 minutes, another downpour sent the players back to the pavilion for the last time.

Umpires Jeff Evans and Richard Illingworth were left with no alternative but to call the game off shortly before 3.30pm with Derbyshire 76 for 0, leaving the home side to take nine points and Northants six.

It was a soggy anticlimax to what promised to be an exciting day's cricket, with both teams fancying their chances of forcing a win. Northants needed the points to stay in touch with the top two in Division Two while bottom-of-the-table Derbyshire were chasing a first victory since late April.

It was a tough task for the home side but Derbyshire could take heart from the previous Championship match at Queen's Park when, despite losing to Surrey by 42 runs, they scored 365 in the fourth innings.

Although Northants have five bowlers out injured, there was enough in the pitch to suggest they could take 10 wickets in the day, although they had made their task harder by dropping Chris Rogers the previous evening. The Australian opener was likely to be a key figure in a successful run chase and he and Wayne Madsen had reduced the target by 22 in nine overs without any real alarms when the first storm broke over the tree-ringed ground.

The lengthy hold-up meant 36 overs were lost and that almost certainly scuppered Derbyshire's chances and left Northants needing to break through quickly. The bowlers were encouraged by the sight of one ball from Andrew Hall shooting through low while another from the Northants skipper lifted sharply at Madsen and lobbed to gully, where James Middlebrook spilled the catch running back.

In the end, it had no impact on the visitors' chances because, minutes later, dark clouds rolled back in and condemned the contest to a watery end.