FOR Paul Collingwood the runs just keep on flowing. For Keaton Jennings the torrent has turned into a drought.

Jennings fell to the first ball of Durham's home match against Derbyshire yesterday, but Collingwood converted eighth championship half-century of the season into his third hundred.

Assisted by Cameron Steel's 72 and a hard-hitting 68 from the ever-improving Paul Coughlin, the captain remained unbeaten on 127 and carried his side to 376 for seven.

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He has endured slumps of his own, so he knows the importance of cashing in on a rich seam of form. He was beaten a couple of times and once had to take evasive action from a brutal lifter from Hardus Viljoen, otherwise he looked in supreme control.

Steady accumulation was punctuated by flurries of boundaries, as when he took three in an over off Tony Palladino, showing how to hook with control shortly after Ryan Pringle miscued the same bowler straight to long leg.

It was largely textbook stuff, but when Derbsyhire turned to the occasional medium pace of Alex Hughes his second ball was casually paddled to fine leg to take Collingwood to 50 off 77 balls.

Continuing at an even pace, his hundred was reached off 150 balls when he turned Viljoen to fine leg for his 11th four, greeted by rapturous applause from the members.

Jennings followed his remarkable efforts last year with a century on Test debut and began this season with 102 not out against Nottinghamshire, 87 at Bristol and an aggregate of 403 in the first five Royal London Cup ties.

But his form had already deserted him going into the Test series against South Africa and since his return to Durham he has totalled 13 in four Twenty20 innings followed by yesterday's confirmation that cricket can be a cruel game.

In his previous form, the short, wide loosener from Viljoen would have been caressed to the boundary. This time the attempt to slap it away resulted in an edge to wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein.

On an overcast morning the floodlights were on prior to the start of the first proper cricket for two months at the former Test arena. They were left on for rather longer than necessary as the skies cleared to cast doubt on Derbyshire's decision to dispense with the toss.

Jennings' return resulted in Cameron Steel being demoted after his 224 in Durham's last match at Leicester, but he was in to face the second ball and looked more comfortable than Tom Latham.

The New Zealander scored only five off his first 36 balls, but then cut Palladino for two fours before shaping to drive and having his off stump rattled.

Viljoen nipped one back to bowl Jack Burnham for nine during a second spell in which he also troubled Steel. He was missed at third slip by Matt Critchley off on 38, and it was a thicker edge wide of the slips which gave him his ninth four and took him to his half-century off 81 balls.

Harry Podmore, making his debut on loan from Middlesex after playing for Durham seconds last week, bowled a good spell without reward after lunch and it was left-armer Luis Reece who broke a fourth-wicket stand of 53.

Steel drove at a ball slanted across him and edged low to Wayne Madsen at slip.

Michael Richardson, down at six now that he is reinstated as wicketkeeper, made a slightly streaky start, edging Reece for four before shouldering arms to an Imran Tahir googly, which just missed his off stump.

He departed for 20 when he pushed forward and edged behind to become Viljoen's third victim, then Pringle flattered to deceive with four nice boundaries in his 19.

His exit left Durham in danger of under-achieving on 217 for six, but Coughlin played with great assurance. The stand of 130 ended when he was lbw to Viljoen, leaving Matthew Potts just enough time to play a few strokes in reaching 13 not out.