Queensland 183 and 7 for 270 (Gannon 45, Siddle 3-42) lead Victoria 9 for 300 dec (Handscomb 92, Fraser-McGurk 51, Swepson 4-75) by 153 runs

Peter Siddle's three wickets weren't enough to keep him in the Test squad nor bowl Victoria to victory as Queensland's tail produced a fighting display to give them a chance of a fourth-day victory at the MCG.

Cameron Gannon made 45 as nightwatchman before Mark Steketee and Jimmy Peirson produced an unbroken 64-run stand to takes Queensland's lead beyond 150 with a day remaining.

Gannon stonewalled admirably in the first session alongside Matt Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne. A pair of 50-plus stands steered Queensland safely past lunch, but James Pattinson, who was called up to the Test squad, threatened to end the game inside three days when he blasted out fellow Test squad member Labuschagne and Gannon in consecutive overs shortly after the interval.

Siddle bowled impressively after missing out on Test selection. He trapped the obdurate Charlie Hemphrey infront for 26 with a ball that nipped back sharply off the seam and by that stage Queensland had slumped to 6 for 178, with just a slender lead of 59 and more than 31 overs left in the day. Siddle also removed Jack Wildermuth with the second new ball after the allrounder had produced a stubborn 34.

Peirson and Steketee took control of the last hour. Steketee hit out with seven boundaries in his unbeaten 45 and Peirson was sharp with his decision-making against the second new ball to take the game into the fourth day.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne