Kane Williamson led LV= County Championship leaders Yorkshire in their bid to stop closest rivals Durham from taking full control on the second day of the title battle at Scarborough.
Requiring 424 to avoid the possibility of the follow-on, Yorkshire reached 182 for three by the close through 76 not out from Williamson and Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 42.
That left the White Rose county 391 behind Durham’s mammoth 573, which featured a maiden century from Michael Richardson.
The Yorkshire reply had initially faltered through a stunning left-handed catch at fourth slip by Ben Stokes, which brought Chris Rushworth the wicket of Adam Lyth with only 18 scored.
Williamson, who was dismissed first ball in his only previous championship innings for Yorkshire, joined Australian Phil Jaques and made encouraging progress.
Yet at 72 for one in 17 overs, Durham turned to the leg-breaks of Scott Borthwick and his second ball had Jaques caught off bat and pad at short-leg by Will Smith.
Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale fell lbw to jamie Harrison soon after tea to make it 107 for three and it was Bairstow who helped Williamson avoid Yorkshire getting into deeper trouble.
Williamson's fifty came off 81 balls with nine fours and Bairstow also began to advance with increasing confidence in an unbroken stand worth 75.
Durham resumed the second day on 406 for six but Paul Collingwood added only seven to his overnight 74 before falling lbw playing back to Ryan Sidebottom.
Had Collingwood reached three figures, Durham would have gone on to become the only opposition in Yorkshire's history to take four centuries off them in the same innings - Mark Stoneman and Ben Stokes doing so on the first day, followed by Richardson's ton today.
Despite Collingwood's departure, Richardson still had plenty of batsmen left to help him build substantial partnerships and Mark Wood soon plundered three boundaries in an over from the wayward Liam Plunkett.
Yorkshire were denied a third bowling bonus point as Durham moved to 454 for seven after 110 overs and the eighth-wicket stand was worth 49 when Wood slapped Plunkett straight to Jack Brooks at cover.
Richardson, the son of former South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman David Richardson, made his highest score of 73 on debut against Yorkshire two years ago and continued to impress.
It was Harrison, however, who produced one of the best shots of the day by straight driving Brooks to the sightscreen.
By lunch, Durham were seven runs ahead of their previous highest score against Yorkshire of 517 and the crowd had grown to 5,750, 250 up on the previous day.
The ninth-wicket pair had pushed their partnership on to 84 in 22 overs when Harrison was run out for 35 and it was last man Rushworth who successfully partnered Richardson to his century, scoring just one in a stand of 26.
Richardson moved into the nineties by driving Williamson high over long-on for six and completed his century in the grandest manner with a similar shot.
In trying to pull off the stroke again he gave a towering catch to Gary Ballance. His 102 from 144 balls contained 11 fours and two sixes.
Yorkshire's bowling figures generally made sorry reading, the only one to emerge with good figures being Sidebottom with 4-85.