Scott Borthwick’s classy century and an unbeaten 85 from the evergreen Paul Collingwood helped Durham make a positive start to their Specsavers County Championship match against Lancashire.
Batting first after winning the toss at a sunny Emirates Riverside, Collingwood may have been concerned when he approached the crease at 151 for four, with three of the wickets going to Preston’s Tom Bailey.
But a stand of 123 with Borthwick, who compiled a masterful 134 before holing out to long-on off Simon Kerrigan, helped Durham recover and they closed on 341 for seven, with 39-year-old Collingwood 15 runs short of back-to-back Division One centuries.
Durham were without Chris Rushworth for the first time for three years because of a hip injury, sparing them a choice between James Weighell and Barry McCarthy as the replacement for Ben Stokes.
Bailey replaced James Anderson for the visitors and quickly dispelled doubts they would miss their premier seamer as he accounted for both Durham openers.
Keaton Jennings made just a single before nicking behind off Bailey, who then accounted for Mark Stoneman (31) when the left-hander edged to Karl Brown at second slip.
England Under-19s batsman Jack Burnham and Borthwick rebuilt in a stand of 88, with the former’s fearless strokes prompting some aggression from Neil Wagner.
However, Burnham gave Bailey and Lancashire their third wicket after lunch when he edged into the slip cordon to depart for 44, while Mark Richardson added just one to the total before falling to Kyle Jarvis.
At the other end, Borthwick was timing the ball superbly. Lancashire tried to bowl a fullish length but the left-hander seized on any chance to cut and pull.
A glorious cover drive off Wagner for his 14th four took him to his hundred off 158 balls.
He almost gave a return catch to Kyle Jarvis on 62 and inside-edged Bailey for four shortly afterwards. Otherwise it was a flawless display which ended with a series of sweeps off Kerrigan before he holed out.
Collingwood batted at a very similar tempo, reaching 50 off 80 balls, which included a straight six off Kerrigan.
Ryan Pringle contributed 25 before gloving an attempted hook to slip, giving Liam Livingstone his third catch and Bailey his fourth wicket, but Collingwood was still there at the close.