NO-ONE was more frustrated than Durham's Michael Richardson when his best limited overs score proved in vain yesterday.

He had shown previously unseen one-day prowess and was on 83 not out when rain ended the opening Royal London Cup tie at home to Derbyshire with Durham on 194 for two after 34 overs.

It had been announced that Derbyshire's revised target under Duckworth / Lewis would be 243 off 34 overs, but further rain prompted umpires Michael Gough and Neil Mallender to call it a day at 4.30, even though the shower was shortlived.

“I was ready to go back out, so I was shocked to hear it was off,” said Richardson. “It's frustrating because we were in a really good position.”

Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman had no argument with the decision, however, saying: “There was standing water on the wicket ends at the top of the square, so I wasn't surprised at all.”

Richardson didn't feature in the first three RLC matches last season, but then made his previous best of 64 against Nottinghamshire batting at No 6.

Yesterday he was sent in at three and shared a high-quality stand of 122 in 20 overs with skipper Keaton Jennings, who made 79.

“It was a nice surprise to be promoted to No 3 and have more time at the crease,” said Richardson. “This is a big field so you can't be looking for fours and sixes all the time. It's all about the percentages.

“It would have been nice to go on and get a hundred, but I would have taken what we had, even if it came down to them batting ten or 20 overs.

“It's an exciting time for me and I'm really enjoying my cricket. With two top-order batsmen leaving it has given me more responsibility.

“Stuart Poynter has taken over the wicketkeeping, so I can go out and enjoy my batting without thinking about going behind the sticks. It tunnels my vision, but we don't know who will be keeping in the T20, so I'll keep on top of it.”

Richardson revealed that he had spent part of the winter working with former South Africa Test opener Gary Kirsten in Cape Town.

Kirsten has coached India and South Africa, as well as in the IPL and Big Bash, and Richardson said: “I did a lot of work on my one-day batting and it was really good to work with someone of that calibre. I enjoy practising and I'm always working on my game.”

Durham were put in by Godleman and were 84 for one after 16 overs when a 75-minute break resulted in the contest being reduced to 43 overs a side.

Jennings again looked in supreme form, scoring his 79 off 72 balls, and hitting four of his ten boundaries in five balls off former Warwickshire seamer Tom Milnes in the seventh over.

Three of them were eased through extra cover while the fourth was pulled through square leg.

Stephen Cook contributed 16 to an opening stand of 47 before he tried to work Ben Cotton to leg and was lbw.

Richardson settled in carefully before becoming the dominant partner after the first break, cutting strongly.

Jennings kept the board moving with steers and deflections and paddled leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis to fine leg for two to reach 50 off 49 balls.

But he was becoming increasingly anxious to press on when he went down the pitch and missed a googly, presenting Gary Wilson with an easy stumping.

Briefly becalmed by Tony Palladino, Richardson just cleared mid-off off the former Essex seamer in hitting his sixth four to reach 50 off 63 balls. He had added 25 with Graham Clark, who was on seven, when the rain returned.