Dawid Malan completed a fabulous maiden career double century on his home Yorkshire debut before watching Derbyshire battle towards a draw at Emerald Headingley during the afternoon and evening sessions of day three.
The Bob Willis Trophy clash between the only two sides with a 100 percent winning record in the North Group is heading towards a weather-affected stalemate, with just short of 100 overs lost across the first two days.
Malan’s 219 off 244 balls was the feature of Yorkshire’s 400-6 declared, achieved shortly before lunch on a sunny third day.
That left group leaders Derbyshire needing to reach 201 to avoid having to follow-on, and they closed on 198-6 from 70 overs.
A Yorkshire win is not completely out of the question should Derbyshire avoid the follow-on, but it would require some creativity with the bat and visiting wickets to fall in a flurry.
On the other hand, the way games are going elsewhere, a draw may not be the end of the world in the race for top spot in the North and to be one of the two best placed group winners who advance to next month’s Lord’s final.
Somerset are on course to claim their third straight win in the Central Group, but Southern leaders Essex are struggling against Sussex.
The gap between leaders Derbyshire and Yorkshire at the top of the North would be no more than four points with two rounds remaining should this game be drawn.
In Derbyshire’s reply, Steve Patterson was superb, returning figures of 3-16 from 16 overs. But Billy Godleman’s calm 54 helped the visitors towards a comfortable position.
Malan advanced from 153 not out overnight to reach his maiden double century off 240 balls.
He was saluted from the dressing room balcony by close mate Jonny Bairstow, the last Yorkshire player whose first hundred for the club ended up being a double (205 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 2011).
The White Rose, 288-4 overnight, scored 112 runs in the opening 22.1 overs of day three, securing the maximum five batting bonus points.
Malan completed a 200-run stand with Jonny Tattersall (66) – a fifth-wicket record for Yorkshire in first-class matches against Derbyshire.
Tattersall chipped Matt Critchley’s leg-spin to cover, leaving Yorkshire 306-5.
Malan then moved to – and beyond – 200 with two fours and two sixes off Leus du Plooy’s part-time left-arm spin before falling caught at long-off trying to hit a third successive six (395-6).
All-rounder Jordan Thompson chipped in with an unbeaten 36 before striking with the ball during the afternoon when Derbyshire lost their first two wickets on 58.
Godleman lost opening partner Tom Wood caught and bowled for 26 early in the afternoon when he was caught and bowled by Thompson off inside-edge and pad in the 18th over.
Typically frugal Patterson then claimed his first wicket when Wayne Madsen was lbw for a duck in the 20th.
Godleman and du Plooy (30) then shared 68 for the third wicket, only to fall in the space of four balls across two overs after tea as Patterson gave Yorkshire an opening at 127-4 in the 50th.
Du Plooy was caught low down at first slip by Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Godleman caught behind by Bairstow.
Derby’s fifth wicket went to Dom Leech, who forced Alex Hughes to miscue a pull to Duanne Olivier at mid-on (152-5 in the 59th).
Olivier then struck himself as Derby slipped to 174-6 in the 65th.
He had Harvey Hosein expertly caught behind by a diving Bairstow, only for Critchley and Anuj Dal to finish on 31 not out and 15 not out respectively.
Meanwhile, should Malan win an England call-up for the forthcoming limited overs series against Pakistan and Australia, this could be his last county game until mid-mid-September. A squad announcement is due in the next 24 hours.