The umpires took the only decision possible following hours of persistent rain which leaves Sussex hoping for a big improvement in the weather on the final day.
Trailing by 277 runs, Derbyshire will have to bat a lot better second time round to deny Sussex victory if the rain stays away and skipper Billy Godleman is hoping his team get the chance to make up for that first day failure when they were shot out for 191 in 68 overs.
“In the context of the game, we knew we had to bat well for two days and now the weather has taken one of them away,” Godleman said.
“We are really disappointed with the first innings batting, particularly after the first couple of hours where it was tricky against the new ball but we managed to get through only one wicket down. So to lose wickets in the middle session was disappointing.
“We want to get out there and play cricket, we don’t want to sit in the changing room but today we were denied that opportunity.”
Sussex head coach Mark Davis said: “We can’t beat the weather but it looks a bit better tomorrow forecast-wise.
“A lead of 277 is a good one on that pitch because there’s still a lot happening and if we bowl well, we feel confident it will be enough.
“I think the pitch has changed in nature a little bit, it’s got a bit drier. But I still think there’s a lot in it so if we can get enough overs in, we can bowl them out.
“We had a long chat after the first two days against Leicestershire because we knew it wasn’t good enough and the last two days we played particularly well to save that game.
“In the first two days here we’ve played well so I’m very happy with the cricket in the last four days.”