Lancashire closed on 195-5 - just shy of a first batting point and 65 in arrears after Lyth top-scored with 103 out of Yorkshire’s first innings total of 260 - his first county hundred for almost two years.
Lyth had last made a first-class century in September 2018, against Hampshire at Headingley.
But he ended the drought against Lancashire at Headingley, converting his overnight 86 into his sixth three-figure innings against the old enemy - four of which have come in first-class cricket, and two in the one-day game.
Lyth reached his milestone with successive fours off seamer Danny Lamb, whom he first cut towards the East Stand and then carved over the slips towards the North-East Stand.
No sooner had the ball gone flying over the slips than Lyth punched the air perhaps as much in relief as celebration, loud cheers resounding from the Yorkshire balcony to greet a milestone raised from 218 balls with 15 fours and two sixes.
The second boundary also brought up Yorkshire’s 200 and their first batting bonus point.
George Hill, the 19 year-old all-rounder, played well at the other end, producing some nice shots through the leg side in particular.
But when his stand with Lyth had reached 55, Lyth fell after 55 minutes’ action, driving loosely outside off stump at Tom Bailey and giving a head-high catch to Keaton Jennings at first slip.
Lyth’s departure left Yorkshire 219-7, and Hill fell two runs later when he was bowled for 29 when driving at Lamb.
Lamb picked up his fourth wicket of the innings when Steve Patterson miscued a pull that flew to Jennings at first slip (234-9), and the innings ended when debutant Jared Warner was lbw to George Balderson.
Helped by Duanne Oliver’s unbeaten 20, Yorkshire passed 250 to gain a second batting bonus point.
Lancashire openers Alex Davies, who top-scored with 73, and Keaton Jennings took advantage of the easiest batting conditions of the match to share their second successive century opening partnership.
Their 104-run partnership was dominated by Davies, though both men drove handsomely.
Davies reached his third 50 of the competition off 73 balls and later moved to 4,000 first-class career runs upon reaching 56.
Yorkshire then hit back impressively either side of tea with three wickets in six overs as their rivals slipped to 112-3.
Jennings was first to go for 23, trapped lbw sweeping at Lyth’s part-time off-spin before pacy Warner picked up his maiden first-class wicket for Yorkshire.
Josh Bohannon, edging behind, was the man to fall before home captain Patterson had Davies lbw playing to leg.
Hill was made to wait for his maiden first-class wicket in his second game, with Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore missing difficult chances in the slips.
But he struck late in the day as Lancashire, following a 65-run stand between Dane Vilas (41) and Rob Jones (21), lost both men to successive deliveries, slipping to 177-5.
Olivier trapped Vilas lbw with one that kept low before Jones was caught behind driving at a delighted Hill.
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