Lancashire's Luke Procter returned figures of five for 17 as 18 wickets fell on the opening day of their LV= County Championship match with Durham at Chester-le-Street.
Proctor put the defending champions in a strong position as they dismissed the hosts for 102.
Kyle Hogg also took three for 23 with Paul Collingwood, one of just four Durham batsmen to reach double-figures, top-scoring with 25.
But England seamer Graham Onions dragged the home side back into contention with four top-order wickets as Lancashire slipped to 19 for four before recovering to 141 for eight, a lead of 39 with opener Paul Horton unbeaten on 31.
Also in Division One, Ed Joyce made 77 and Ben Brown's 70 helped Sussex recover from 66 for five to reach 242 for eight against Middlesex.
The pair put on 81 for the sixth wicket after Tim Murtagh had taken three for 13 in the opening session at Lord's.
Murtagh ended the day with four wickets, also removing Naved Arif after his useful 38 down the order.
Vikram Solanki made an unbeaten 82 to help Worcestershire finish the first day of their match against Somerset on 270 for three.
The former England limited-overs batsman built on the impressive start from openers Daryl Mitchell, who made 80, and Phil Hughes (53).
In Division Two, Marcus North hit 116 as Glamorgan closed day two at Cardiff on 302 for five in reply to Leicestershire's 271.
Opener Gareth Rees had got the hosts off to a solid start with 66 after Jim Allenby finished with four wickets.
The other two games were in their first day, Will Gidman claiming four wickets and David Payne three as Gloucestershire dismissed Derbyshire for 95.
Alex Gidman was on 72 not out as Gloucestershire closed on 182 for five in reply, a lead of 87.
Andrew Hall made 79 in Northamptonshire's 253 against Yorkshire at Headingley, Ryan Sidebottom the pick of the bowlers with three for 37.
The hosts were 27 without loss in reply.