Jonny Bairstow’s liking for Chester-le-Street tipped the balance in Yorkshire’s favour on the first day of the clash between the LV County Championship’s top two.
On the ground where he played his match-winning knock in the recent one-day international he sped from 25 at tea to 102 at the close.
And Bairstow was keen to heap praise on Yorkshire’s top order for laying the foundations, saying: “You know it’s going to be difficult on a cloudy morning here and we would have bowled.
“The way the openers applied themselves was fantastic. It was highly skilful. It set us up and you always know that one session here can change the game. “
Tim Bresnan matched Bairstow as he contributed 66 to an unbroken stand of 138 which took Yorkshire to 329-6.
Bairstow continued his remarkable form by scoring his second 50 off only 54 balls in completing his third championship century of the season off 127 deliveries with 16 fours.
After being put in Yorkshire grafted to 124-2 in the 54th over before a mid-afternoon wobble when a remarkable catch by Paul Collingwood contributed to the loss of three wickets for 28 runs.
But the morning session’s hard work, which produced a score of 68-1, reaped rich rewards in the evening. The final session yielded 154, 92 coming from the new ball in the final 16 overs.
Yorkshire’s top four were made to work for their runs but all fell between 24 and 40 and when Aaron Finch departed for ten Durham were in the ascendancy at 152-5.
Bairstow always looked comfortable, however, seizing on anything short through his cutting and pulling in front of mid-wicket.
He reached 50 off 73 balls and an upper cut over the slips off John Hastings took him into the 90s. He drove Collingwood through extra cover for a four which took him to his ton.
The pitch looked quite green and there was heavy cloud cover in the morning, but while generally disciplined the Durham bowlers did not find sufficient movement to pose problems.
The openers put on 56 before left-hander Will Rhodes fell for 24, losing his off stump to Jamie Harrison when aiming for mid-wicket.
The first wicket to fall in the afternoon was that of Alex Lees, who faced 123 balls for 40. He pushed forward and edged Graham Onions to stumper Michael Richardson.
Andrew Gale and Jack Leaning spent 24 overs adding 42 before falling in successive overs.
Harrison went round the wicket and splattered Leaning’s stumps for 28.
Then Gale, on 22, gloved a Hastings bouncer and the ball looped high over the slips, apparently heading for safety.
But Collingwood, showing remarkable agility for a 39-year-old, sprinted back and somehow plucked the ball out of the air with his right hand while still on the move.
Adil Rashid was the only batsman out after tea, edging a good ball from Chris Rushworth to Collingwood at first slip for 21.
With 11 overs left of the old ball, Bresnan was able to settle in comfortably before joining Bairstow in the assault on the new ball. Bresnan’s 50 came off 63 balls with nine fours.