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Lyth ton inspires White Rose

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Adam Lyth's 104 put Yorkshire firmly in command on the opening day of their Division One clash with reigning LV= County Champions Durham. 

The White Rose prospered having elected to bat in a tussle between last year's top two, which had on display nine players with a combined 299 Test appearances between them.

But it was a 26-year-old with no international experience who stole the show, scoring the first century by a visiting player in the opening innings at the Emirates Durham ICG in a championship game since 2011, when Vikram Solanki hit 124 for Worcestershire, as Yorkshire posted 299 for three.

Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan returned for the Tykes, with fellow internationals Joe Root and Gary Ballance away on England duty.

Durham brought Kumar Sangakkara in for his debut but the Sri Lanka legend had a day to forget, as he and his team-mates missed a number of opportunities in the field.

Early on Lyth edged Chris Rushworth behind, but it dropped short of Scott Borthwick at second slip, before Alex Lees was fortunate to survive a caught-behind appeal when facing the same bowler on eight. 

Lees would not last too much longer, adding just one more before edging Jamie Harrison behind in the 11th over, but it would be the hosts' only wicket of the first two sessions.

Lyth was put down by Michael Richardson at slip, though Harrison had stepped over the line for one of 17 no-balls in the day.

And Lyth combined with New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, who made 97, in a brilliant partnership that was worth 179 and handed Yorkshire the initiative.

Lyth survived a scare on 88 when Mark Wood found his edge, but Borthwick, at second slip, could only parry the ball over his head and a diving Paul Collingwood failed to cling on to the rebound, despite getting both hands to it.

Williamson was having no such problems, bringing up a chanceless half-century from 170 balls.

Lyth reached his ton - his ninth in first-class cricket - from the 171st delivery he faced. It almost saw him dismissed, though, as he cut Wood straight to point, only for the ball to dip in front of a sprawling Mark Stoneman and run away for four. 

But the tea break affected Lyth's concentration and he was dismissed from the first ball he faced in the evening session, caught by Borthwick at slip after offering a loose drive at an outswinger from Harrison.

Andrew Gale struggled to get settled and there were two big lbw shouts and a caught-behind appeal off Wood in the 73rd over, with the Yorkshire skipper fortunate to survive the latter.

Phil Mustard failed to cling on as Wood found Williamson's edge when on 92 and Sangakkara put down a routine catch at third slip as Graham Onions found Gale's edge, who then had 17 of his 35 not out.

But Williamson was denied his first century for Yorkshire as Rushworth struck on his first go with the new cherry in the 82nd over, sending the Kiwi's off-stump flying with a superb inswinging delivery.

Bairstow, on his return from a finger injury, joined Gale at the crease and the pair comfortably saw Yorkshire to the close with an unbroken 42-run partnership, leaving the visitors one run away from a third batting point.

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