Tim Murtagh's late brace of wickets helped Middlesex salvage something from day one of their LV= County Championship clash against Derbyshire, as Wayne Madsen made an unbeaten 105.
The relegation threatened hosts, inserted by Middlesex after losing the toss, reached 279/6 by the close - despite star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul falling to Ollie Rayner for just 2.
At that stage Derbyshire were 123/3 and the visitors were sensing their chance.
But the patient Madsen found assistance from Richard Johnson and Alex Hughes, who both made 33, as a Middlesex attack without Steven Finn but featuring the returning James Harris - recalled to the England sqaud for the final Ashes Series Test - were largely subdued.
Star bowler Murtagh's late burst though kept title chasing Middlesex's spirits high at the end of the first day's play, as they look to close the gap on championship leaders Yorkshire.