New South Wales 243 (O'Keefe 50*, Holland 5-67) and 2 for 46 (Maddinson 17*, Abbott 0*) need another 422 runs to beat Victoria 9 for 562 dec (Maxwell 278, Finch 76, O'Keefe 3-128) and 3 for 148 dec (Harris 62*, Copeland 2-52)
Left-arm spinner Jon Holland's five-wicket haul sent New South Wales packing for 243 and gave Victoria a massive first-innings lead of 319. And by stumps on the third day, after they had batted again, Victoria reduced New South Wales to 2 for 46 in an improbable chase of 468.
Moises Henriques' men were always likely to face significant trouble at the North Sydney Oval considering they were 5 for 125 in reply to a total of 562. But they negotiated the first hour or so without much loss as Ed Cowan and Peter Nevill extended their sixth-wicket partnership to 47. But Holland found a way to break through the resistance as soon as he was brought back for his second spell of the day.
New South Wales' tail battled hard, with Steve O'Keefe striking 50 of the 81 runs his team made in the second session before being bowled out. However, a lack of big scores hurt them badly. Nine of the XI players fell for less than 35. Holland finished with 5 for 67 in 33 overs while fast bowlers Chris Tremain and Scott Boland chipped in with two wickets each.
Victoria's second essay was an absolute sprint as they racked up 3 for 148 at 7.04 an over. Marcus Harris blitzed an unbeaten 62 at a-run-a-ball despite the loss of Travis Dean off the first ball of the innings. Glenn Maxwell, who was left out of Australia's Ashes squad for the first two Tests, followed up his first-innings 278 with 16. Aaron Finch blasted 43 off 28 balls, with four fours and two sixes. Shortly after his dismissal, the Victoria captain called his batsmen back in so that Holland could cause problems for New South Wales again. He bowled promising opening batsman Daniel Hughes for 21. Tremain flattened Nick Larkin's stumps for 8 and it was left to Nic Maddinson and nightwatchman Sean Abbott to hold firm until stumps.