A century partnership between Scott Borthwick and Will Smith frustrated the Derbyshire bowlers on Day Three at the County Ground.
Borthwick (89) and Smith (81) batted for almost two sessions to repel the hosts’ attack - adding 159 runs to put their side in a strong position on 227-2.
Karl Krikken’s men finally found the breakthrough just before tea courtesy of Shivnarine Chanderpaul (1-7), before Mark Footitt (1-78) claimed a second with the new ball.
But only eight overs were bowled in the final session before rain forced an early closure with Durham 257-4.
Resuming on 82-2, Borthwick (89) and Smith (81) batted for over a session and a half on the penultimate day to add 159 runs for the third wicket.
All-rounder Borthwick led the way striking seven fours in his 177-ball innings to top score with 89 - while partner Smith enjoyed similar success hitting 10 fours in his knock of 81.
But the partnership was broken by part-time spinner Chanderpaul, as Borthwick slapped his waist-high full toss straight to the grateful Tim Groenewald at mid-wicket.
And the introduction of the second new ball soon after did for partner Smith, as the right-handed batsman edged a lifting Footitt delivery to substitute Tom Knight at second slip, with Durham 236-4.
Paul Collingwood (13*) and Michael Richardson (10*) resumed after tea, but only eight overs were bowled before bad light forced the players off and no further play was possible.
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