Late wickets put Sussex on top despite a defiant 63 from Captain Wayne Madsen as Derbyshire closed on 158-6 on a rain-effected opening day at the County Ground.
Derbyshire made a productive start moving onto 113-2 just after Tea, but Steve Magoffin, James Anyon, Chris Jordan and Monty Panesar all claimed a wicket apiece in the final session to put the visitors in the ascendency.
Madsen, who passed 5,000 career first-class runs in the evening session, batted beautiful throughout the day but was dismissed in the penultimate over for an excellent 64 as Sussex closed Day 1 in control.
A total of 39 overs were lost in the day after the morning session was washed-out due to persistent rain in Derby. Play finally got underway at 2.30pm after Sussex had won the toss and elected to field first in bowler-friendly conditions at the County Ground.
Ross Whiteley was drafted into the side after Wes Durston had to withdraw with injury, while both Mark Footitt and Alasdair Evans were included in their first Championship XI of the season.
The home side made a solid start with Billy Godleman and Chesney Hughes exchanging boundaries, with the latter getting off the mark with a huge six over fine-leg off Anyon.
But Hughes would fall shortly after for 15 as his attempted drive was caught at third slip by Ed Joyce off Magoffin to reduce the hosts to 36-1.
Despite the early loss, Derbyshire continued their impressive start, with the run rate over four an over for large parts of the first session. Godleman hit back-to-back boundaries in the seventh over off Anyon, but his eye-catching innings was ended by Jordan not long after as he was caught at first slip by Luke Wells for 26.
New batsman Chanderpaul got off the mark majestically pushing Jordan through the covers to get off the mark with a boundary, as alongside Madsen the pair produced some beautiful shots to move onto 94-2 at Tea.
After a brief break in play after the interval due to rain, the players finally returned for the last session of the day. Under the County Ground floodlights, a single down to fine-leg by Chanderpaul moved the hosts past three figures.
But the West Indian batsman was dismissed shortly after as he hit a full length delivery straight to the sub fielder at extra cover off Magoffin to reduce the Derbyshire to 113-3 after 39 overs.
And Derbyshire lost their fourth wicket of the day soon after as Redfern, who had been struck on the knee the previously delivery, was trapped in front without scoring reducing the hosts to 128-4.
But Madsen remained firm and continued to score freely and duly completed his half century from 113 balls, while in the act of passing 5,000 career first class runs. However, the captain fell in the penultimate over of the day to Jordan for a superb 63 and Alasdair Evans was trapped lbw by Panesar in the final over as Derbyshire closed on 158-6.
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