LV= COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP, DIVISION ONE, The Rose Bowl:
Close, day one: Hampshire v Durham 413-6
Durham 5pts, Hants 2pts
Benkenstein was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2009
Dale Benkenstein hit a century as Durham dominated the opening day of the County Championship season against Hampshire, closing on 413-6.
The 36-year-old hit two sixes and 13 fours in his 118, before falling to teenage spinner Danny Briggs (4-127).
Benkenstein was supported throughout and shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 136 with Ian Blackwell (62).
The tone was set for Durham's innings by half centuries for Mark Stoneman (51) and Gordon Muchall (62).
Durham never looked in any difficulty after winning the toss, as Michael di Venuto (42) and Stoneman put on 84 for the first wicket.
The only batsman to miss out was youngster Ben Stokes who made only 10, before giving fit-again Simon Jones his first wicket of the season.
A fourth-wicket stand of 100 between Muchall and Benkenstein frustrated Hampshire in the middle part of the day, while the latter converted his innings into the 35th first-class century of his career.
There was to be no slowing down in the scoring rate, even after Benkenstein's departure, as Phil Mustard (39 not out) and Scott Borthwick added an unbeaten 45 for the seventh wicket to see Durham safely to the close.
South African Friedel de Wet struggled on his Hampshire debut, conceding 64 in 18 overs without taking a wicket, while former England pace bowler Jones finished with 1-54.