WILL SMITH warmed up for the new cricket season in style as he scored an unbeaten century on the opening day of Durham’s pre-season friendly against Durham MCCU.

Smith finished unbeaten on 148 and shared in a third-wicket partnership of 116 with stand-in captain Alex Lees as Durham closed on 331-7.

Coming in at number four, Smith batted for most of the day as he posted a virtually chanceless century, with his efforts enabling Durham to successfully steady the ship after a shaky start.

Gareth Harte and first-class debutant Ross Greenwell both departed early, with the former succumbing to a spectacular catch at point.

That brought Smith and Lees together, and they combined to put Durham back on track, with Lees stroking a number of boundaries, including a towering six off Abhiraj Singh’s first ball, as he became the first player to score a half-century in a first-class match in England this year.

The pair added 116 before some miscommunication resulted in Lees being run out by a considerable distance.

The wicket sparked a run of four dismissals for 54 runs, with Singh trapping Stuart Poynter leg before and catching Ben Raine off his own bowling.

Smith remained in control though, and a couple of decent late partnerships with Josh Coughlin and George Harding ensured Durham were able to pass the 300-mark before the close of play.

Coughlin contributed to a 52-run stand before he was caught down the leg side, and Harding combined with Smith in an unbroken 95-run partnership that completed a successful opening first-class day.