New South Wales 3 for 188 (Patterson 57*) trail Western Australia 279 (Bancroft 138*, Whiteman 66, O'Keefe 4-78, Copeland 4-81) by 91 runs
Cameron Bancroft produced a marathon performance to put his name back in front of Australia's national selectors, carrying his bat with an unbeaten century against New South Wales at Bankstown Oval.
Bancroft made 138 not out from 358 balls to underpin the Warriors first innings total of 279, but New South Wales were only 91 runs behind with seven first innings wickets in hand at stumps on day two thanks to a composed unbeaten half-century from Test batsman Kurtis Patterson.
It was the third time in Bancroft's career he has carried his bat in a first-class innings and the second time against New South Wales in Sydney in two seasons.
With the exception of Sam Whiteman's 66 on the opening day, no other WA batsman scored more than 10. Bancroft lost his last recognised partner in debutant Brad Hope with the score at 6 for 183 early on day two, but mustered 96 with the tail. He struck two huge sixes off Steve O'Keefe late in the innings with nearly every fielder on the rope.
O'Keefe and Trent Copeland both finished with four wickets.
The Warriors attack lacked penetration as the Blues cruised towards a first innings lead. Daniel Hughes and Nick Larkin put on 62 for the first wicket before debutant legspinner Liam O'Connor made the breakthrough with Hughes top edging a sweep shot from the rough.
Patterson had a huge slice of luck early nicking a ball between the keeper and first slip off Matt Kelly. Josh Inglis and Sam Whiteman stood motionless as the chance flew between them.
He settled thereafter and took control against an inexperienced WA attack easing to 57 from 104 balls with six fours and a six. Joel Paris removed Larkin lbw with a skilful late inswinger and O'Connor produced a gem of a wrong 'un to clean bowl Moises Henriques late in the day.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne