COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, Emirates Ground:
CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY ONE: Durham 213 v Yorkshire 125-7
Yorkshire 3pts, Durham 3pts
Di Venuto's unbeaten 117 was his best first-class score of the season
Michael Di Venuto carried his bat for an unbeaten 117 to rescue Durham from complete collapse as 17 wickets fell on day one of their clash with Yorkshire.
Phil Mustard (53) was the only other Durham batsman to offer any resistance as Ajmal Shahzad took a career-best 5-51 to help bowl them out for 213.
But Yorkshire found it no easier when they came to bat at Chester-le-Street.
Steve Harmison took 3-50, including two in two balls, as the title hopefuls ended the day deep in trouble on 125-7.
Reigning county champions Durham still harbour hopes of retaining their title too, and with a result appearing likely after the game advanced at such a pace on the opening day, a win for either side would keep them in the thick of the hunt.
It was Yorkshire who seized the early initiative after winning the toss and putting Durham in, with the seamers nipping the ball around under heavy morning cloud.
Steven Patteron had already had Mark Stoneman caught behind when Shahzad, on as first change, struck twice in his first over, trapping Gordon Muchall lbw with his fourth ball before knocking back Dale Benkenstein's off stump two balls later for a duck.
And, after trapping Ben Stokes leg before, he went on to hit the stumps twice more to remove Liam Plunkett and Mitch Claydon - Stokes and Plunkett being two more of the four Durham batsmen to depart without scoring.
But they were not alone in struggling as extras was Durham's third top scorer with 16, and their second highest partnership after Di Venuto's and Mustard's was just 30.
That was for the last wicket between Di Venuto and Harmison, with the former England paceman surviving a dropped catch at third slip by Jonny Bairstow to see his Australian partner to his century off 156 balls.
After Claydon had removed both Yorkshire openers, Harmison then took centre stage with the ball, removing Tim Bresnan, who was batting at three and left to join up with England ahead of the third Test starting on Wednesday when he was out, and captain Andrew Gale in successive balls.
Gale was less than pleased to depart, indicating that he had nicked it.
Harmison also had Adil Rashid caught behind late on, with Yorkshire's hopes of not conceding a sizeable first-innings lead now resting with Anthony McGrath, who finished 28 not out, passing 1,000 first-class runs for the season in the process.