Hamidullah Qadri took 4-95 on a tough day with the ball for the Second XI as Sussex closed on 353-9 at Blackstone Academy Ground.
Derbyshire put the hosts into bat on Day One of the Second XI Championship match and soon had them 58-3 as James Taylor and Harry Wanford removed both openers and Gareth Wade had the talented Laurie Evans caught for five.
But Delray Rawlins (78) and George Garton (45) added 132 for the fourth wicket as Sussex regained control.
Qadri removed both set batsmen, but Jonty Jenner (67) and Abidine Sakande (50 not out) added further half-centuries to keep Sussex in a good position on 353-9 at the close.
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