DURHAM continued to drop catches on an afternoon of toil as they failed to take a wicket and Northants reached 317 for five, leading by 151.

England Under 19 captain Max Holden capitalised relentlessly on surviving two simple chances early in the day to score his maiden century in only his sixth first-class game.

The Middlesex Academy product is on loan to Northamptonshire, who would be grateful for his tenacity as they recovered from 67 for four.

While it took Holden 228 balls to reach his hundred, Josh Cobb made merry in the benign conditions against a flagging attack, contributing 88 to the unbroken stand of 152.

He survived a sharp chance to Michael Richardson at backward point off Paul Coughlin on 14 and a skied pull to Keaton Jennings deep mid-wicket off the last ball before tea, when Holden was on 112.