Yorkshire were bowled out for 372 and held a lead of 138 over the MCC, who could only make 221 all out in their first innings before closing on 13 without loss at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Uncapped Lyth appears to be one of two contenders – the other the returning Jonathan Trott – to open alongside captain Alastair Cook in the West Indies next month.
The 27-year-old could not have hand-picked a better audience either, making his 15th first-class hundred in front of Cook, who is in the MCC team and could make only three himself in his first four-day innings of the year on Sunday.
Lyth plundered 113 before he was trapped in front by Adam Riley in an innings which saw Will Rhodes make 61 on his first class debut.
“It’s just a great way to start the season,” Lyth told the club’s website.
“To get a hundred in the first first-class game of the season, with the pink ball under lights, which is difficult, and in front of the England captain is really pleasing.
“It would have been nice to have gone on and got a big one, but I’d have taken 113 at the start of the game. I’m well pleased.
“Alastair just said well played and there were a few shakes of the hand. That was nice of him.
“In my career it’s probably up there with one of the most important hundreds that I’ve scored with him watching. Obviously, in a few days we fly out (to the West Indies), so hopefully I’ve impressed him and you never know what might happen over the next few weeks.”
Yorkshire started the day 139 runs behind the MCC, but were encouraged by the performance of nightwatchman Steven Patterson before he was bowled by Riley for 36.
Jonny Bairstow went in the next over for a duck after he was adjudged lbw off Chris Rushworth.
The MCC looked to have broken the Yorkshire resistance when Lyth went, to leave the score on 195 for five, before Rhodes and Andy Hodd took the game away from them.
Rhodes hit five fours in his 149-ball 61, while Hodd added 57 off of 68 deliveries.
Tim Bresnan went for 12, while recently called up Adil Rashid made 42, with Yorkshire all out for 372.
Cook (two not out) and Nick Compton (7no) saw the MCC to the close.