DURHAM’S bowling, notably by Graham Onions, was well below par this morning as Yorkshire gambled on batting first and reached 87 for one at lunch.

Although Onions conceded only 14 runs in nine overs, he struggled to control the swing and frequently strayed down the leg side against left-handed openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees.

His problems were summed up when Lyth, on 19, survived a close call for lbw and the next ball was a wide.

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Kumar Snagakkara, standing at third slip at the start of his two-match spell with Durham, would not have been impressed.

With plenty of movement available, Durham would have expected to take three or four wickets, but Chris Rushworth initially had similar problems to Onions.

Jamie Harrison made the breakthrough in the 11th over (his second) when Lees followed a ball which left him sharply and edged to Phil Mustard for nine.

Harrison bowled a good spell and Mark Wood looked very lively in his first appearance of the season following his side injury.

Kane Williamson edged his second ball just out of gully’s reach and after scoring 20 in 24 overs Lyth got a thick edge for four off Wood.

The next ball was pushed into the covers and in taking a sharp single Lyth benefited from four overthrows after the shy at the non-striker’s end deflected off his bat. That is surely one of cricket’s more bizarre rules.

After his commendable restraint Lyth looked ready to push on, reaching lunch on 39 with Williamson on 22.