YORKSHIRE openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees scored centuries and shared a 270 partnership during a topsy turvy opening day of their LV= County Championship match against Durham at Headingley.
The pair helped the title-chasing White Rose to a healthy 367-7 from 96 overs at close as they batted unbroken for the first two sessions and into the evening.
Lyth made 143 and Lees 108, notching their third and second hundreds of the season respectively, after Paul Collingwood had sprung a surprise by electing to bowl.
Still, his decision was vindicated to an extent as one-time England Lions seamer Mark Wood took four of seven wickets to fall for 74 after tea. Steve Patterson and Tim Bresnan will resume not out on day two.
"I think we'd have taken that score every day of the week having been put in on that type of wicket," said Lyth, who scored his first ever Championship hundred at Headingley out of nine in all.
"It has seamed about and gone up and down a bit, so we're over the moon with the score we've got.
"Me and Alex played very well, but we could have been out early doors. We rode our luck a bit, and then we cashed in. They bowled better towards the back end of the day, as it showed with them getting seven wickets.
"When we bowl, we've got to bowl full and straight because it brings in bowled, lbws and catches behind the wicket. At times they bowled a little bit too short and wide.”
Lyth and Lees have now scored 1,119 runs in partnership this season, including that mammoth 375 in the second innings of the win against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road at the start of June.
Wood then took 4-4 in 11 balls after tea. His burst included the wickets of Lyth and Andrew Gale lbw and Jonny Bairstow and Jack Leaning bowled as Yorkshire slipped from 282-1 to 291-5 in the 81st over.
Shortly before, Lees had been trapped by Scott Borthwick’s leg-spinners.
The first-wicket stand included a series of eye-catching driven boundaries, whether it be through the covers or straight down the ground.
Lyth brought up his ton off 183 balls and Lees his off 189 either side of tea on a pitch which showed signs of uneven bounce and sideways movement.
Durham’s bowling performance was much improved from a morning which cost them 145 runs in 32 overs compared to 82 from the same number in the afternoon. They then claimed those seven wickets after tea.
Chris Rushworth removed Adil Rashid and Aaron Finch (36) caught at second slip with the second new ball, leaving the score at 344-7 in the 91st over, breaking a sixth-wicket stand of 46 inside nine overs between the pair in the process.
Asked whether he was surprised at Collingwood’s decision to bowl, Lyth added: "Not surprised, no, because it seemed to be that type of surface. A lot of visiting captains would have bowled, but we were always going to bat.”
LV= County Championship
Yorkshire v Durham
(Durham won toss)
Yorkshire First Innings
A Lyth lbw b Wood 143
A Z Lees lbw b Borthwick 108
J A Leaning b Wood 4
A W Gale lbw b Wood 5
J M Bairstow b Wood 0
A J Finch c Borthwick b Rushworth 36
A U Rashid c Borthwick b Rushworth 15
T T Bresnan not out 6
S A Patterson not out 14
Extras (b4 lb16 w3 nb13) 36
Total 7 wkts (96 overs) 367
Fall: 1-270 2-282 3-288 4-288 5-291 6-337 7-344.
Bowling: Rushworth 22-7-65-2, Hastings 20-4-78-0, Wood 19-2-76-4, Couglin 13-1-57-0, Borthwick 13-1-49-1, Collingwood 8-1-21-0, Jennings 1-0-1-0.