Worcestershire 31 for 0 trail Derbyshire 219 (Madsen 111*, Ajmal 4-60) by 188 runs
Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen led the recovery as the visitors shrugged off their Sunday nightmare on the second day against Worcestershire at New Road.
Openers Billy Godleman and Stephen Moore were both dismissed despite only 3.5 overs being possible on the first day which Derbyshire ended on a distinctly unhealthy 3 for 2.
But Madsen compiled an unbeaten 111, bolstered by a third wicket stand of 75 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, as Derbyshire recovered to post a respectable total of 219 in difficult batting conditions.
Chanderpaul's departure lbw off Gareth Andrew for 32 threatened to bring an end to Derbyshire's encouraging comeback. But despite a middle-order collapse largely inspired by Saeed Ajmal who finished with figures of 4 for 60 off 26.3 overs, Tim Groenewald arrived at the crease to frustrate the hosts' quest for a quick finish.
Groenewald, whose impressive month has already seen him take a hat-trick against Essex alongside two half-centuries, formed a ninth wicket partnership worth 56 with Madsen before he was caught by Matthew Pardoe off Charlie Morris for 24.
And there were more difficulties for Worcestershire as last man Mark Footitt scored a gutsy 17 before Ajmal belatedly brought an end to his resistance.
Worcestershire avoided a repeat of their opponents' early problems as they reached 31 without loss at close, with Daryl Mitchell and Pardoe sitting on 13 and 10 not out respectively.