Derbyshire 118 for 4 (Hughes 74*) trail Northamptonshire 255 (Zaib 57, Curran 51, Hughes 4-57) by 137 runs
Alex Hughes was the chief beneficiary of a rain-shortened day at Wantage Road as he made his way to 74 not out, moving Derbyshire to 118 for 4 replying to Northamptonshire's 255.
With only 29 overs possible in the morning session, Hughes moved from his overnight 38 to a fourth fifty in consecutive County Championship matches.
Under very gloomy skies with rain threatening, Hughes enjoyed a fair slice of luck with several plays and misses and an inside edge via the pad that just missed his leg stump.
But he seized on any chance to score and cut Ben Sanderson in front and behind point among his 10 boundaries and a six.
Northants did strike twice in the session, with Tom Lace, for 38, and Gary Wilson, for just 3, edging and driving to Ben Curran at point.