Openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees compiled their second record-breaking partnership of the season to give Yorkshire the upper hand on day one of their bid to avenge the defeat that more than any cost them last season’s Championship.
Last August’s win at Scarborough was a pivotal moment in Durham’s title-winning campaign but Yorkshire can effectively put them out of contention with victory in this match – and despite a middle order collapse they are well on top after Lyth and Lees put on 270 for the first wicket.
It followed their stand of 375 against Northamptonshire earlier in the season, which was the fourth largest for the first wicket in Yorkshire history. This was the biggest against Durham.
Lees was dropped by wicketkeeper Phil Mustard on 91 but that was the only clear chance during the 71-over span of the partnership as Durham’s bowlers failed to find whatever it was in the pitch that persuaded Paul Collingwood to put Yorkshire in.
Yorkshire were 145 without loss at lunch and while the bowling was tighter in the afternoon, the second session still added 86 without a wicket falling. The burst of Durham success came after tea, with leg-spinner Scott Borthwick getting Lees lbw for 108, before Mark Wood took four wickets in 11 balls. A brisk 36 from Aaron Finch put Yorkshire back on track.
Northamptonshire need to score 209 more runs to avoid another innings defeat after Sussex dismissed them for 116 on day two at Hove, where Australian seamer Steve Magoffin’s 5 for 12 took him to 44 for the season as the First Division’s leading wicket-taker. Northants are 80 for 3 following on.
Dawid Malan’s run of form continued with an unbeaten 90 on day one of Middlesex’s match against Somerset at Uxbridge, where a win for either side would keep them in title contention.