Division One leaders Warwickshire were put under the cosh by Yorkshire on the second day of their LV= County Championship game at Headingley.
Liam Plunkett (86) and Steven Patterson (43) allowed the hosts to add 134 for their final two wickets having resumed on 310 for eight.
Warwickshire's reply saw them slip to 49 for four and although England batsman Ian Bell made an unbeaten 58 they were 136 for six at the close.
Second-placed Sussex's hopes of taking advantage were frustrated by the rain as they could only add 64 runs to their 441 for five at home to Durham before the teams were forced off for the day after just 17.4 overs of play.
There was still time, though, for o vernight century-makers Luke Wright (189) and Ben Brown (163) to record their highest first-class scores before the weather brought an end to proceedings with Sussex on 505 for nine
Middlesex were able to make better inroads against Lancashire as they went past the visitors' 266 just before the close.
Dawid Malan was run out eight short of his century but his contribution, along with those of Sam Robson (51), Eoin Morgan (76 not out) and Neil Dexter (44no), helped their side finish the day in a strong position on 275 for three.
Bottom side Northamptonshire threw away a good start after being put into bat in a rain-delayed game against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
With no play on day one the visitors were 101 without loss but then Australia seamer Peter Siddle claimed four wickets - including the important one of Stephen Peters (88) - to help reduce Northamptonshire to 241 for eight at the close.
In Division Two second-placed Hampshire, looking to take advantage of leaders Worcestershire not being in championship action, established a 106-run lead over Glamorgan.
Resuming on 119 for one they lost Michael Carberry (66) before he could get into his stride again but Liam Dawson (64) and James Vince (61) helped them to 330 for eight at stumps.
Despite the bad weather around the country Surrey's game at the Oval against Gloucestershire moved on apace with the hosts already set a victory target - albeit with a requirement to make the highest score of the game - despite a disappointing batting performance which saw them lose their last four wickets for 18 to concede a first-innings lead of 36.
But England bowler Chris Tremlett stepped up with six for 59 to dismiss the visitors for 230 to leave a target of 267 to win, which had been reduced by 41 at the close.
Having seen the opening day washed out bottom side Derbyshire would have wished for similar on day two as they were skittled for 118 by Kent after Darren Stevens claimed five for 24 and Doug Bollinger five for 29.
The visitors then posted 10 without loss in three overs before the close.