New South Wales 151 & 1 for 33 (Gilkes 11*) trail Victoria 199 & 3 for 290 dec (Harris 137, Handscomb 115) by 305 runs

Incumbent Test opener Marcus Harris has moved to shore up his Ashes place with a grinding century against New South Wales alongside Victoria captain Peter Handscomb on a bizarre third day at Drummoyne Over which featured slow scoring in hot windy conditions.

Harris scored one of the slowest of his 19 first-class centuries making 137 from 361 balls with nine fours and a six, while Handcomb struck just nine boundaries in his 115 from 292 balls, as the pair scored at only 2.5 runs per over before declaring late in the day to set New South Wales a chase of 339 off 111 overs.

The Blues finished at 1 for 33 at stumps having lost Daniel Hughes trapped lbw to the part-time offspin of Matt Short. Matt Gilkes remained 11 not out alongside nightwatchman Harry Conway.

Earlier, neither Harris nor Handscomb showed any great urgency to press on the accelerator to establish a bigger lead as the Blues' bowlers set relatively defensive fields on a surface that got slower and lower as the day wore on. The wind was so strong that the teams played without bails for much of the day.

Harris played patiently although he did have another huge slice of luck. He sliced a ball to gully on 66 and Gilkes grassed the simple chance. He had already edged a ball between first and second slip on the second afternoon off Nathan Lyon.

The left-hander played with more positivity against Lyon lofting him down the ground for six. He didn't panic as he spent an eternity in the 90s just before tea, reaching his century with a quick single just before the break. Handscomb reached his 16th first-class century after tea with a rare boundary. The pair shared a 259-run stand in nearly 113 overs before Harris holed out uppercutting Sean Abbott to deep backward point. Handscomb was cleaned bowled by Abbott not long after.

Victoria declared with 14 overs remaining in the day, giving New South Wales plenty of time to chase the target. Hughes and Gilkes looked comfortable against the quicks but Hughes missed a ball that didn't spin from Matt Short and was adjudged lbw late in the day.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo