A long day in the field was rewarded with two big wickets in the final session for England Lions as New South Wales XI finished day one of their four-day fixture in Wollongong on 242 for four.
The Lions, unbeaten on the tour so far and coming off the back of a win over Australia A last week, came up against a stubborn opening partnership in Ryan Hackney and Tim Ward, who batted out the first 20 overs, scoring 49 before the fall of the first wicket.
Surrey off-spinner Amar Virdi, playing his first match of the tour, dismissed Ward for 19, caught by Brydon Carse, with Carse then dismissing new batsman Ryan Gibson for seven a couple of overs later.
Jason Sangha, who scored a half-century for the Cricket Australia XI that drew with the Lions in Hobart earlier in the tour, joined Hackney at the crease for what turned into a 50-over, 154-run partnership for the third wicket.
Sangha scored 85 before he was trapped in front by Tom Abell, who is skippering the Lions in the absence of Lewis Gregory and Keaton Jennings.
Hackney stuck around for six more overs with Nick Bertus, pushing closer to his century but inside the final hour, Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson induced a nick behind to his namesake, Kent ‘keeper Ollie Robinson – on his Lions debut – to dismiss Hackney for 95.
Bertus and Arjun Nair saw out the remaining overs of the day to leave the innings interestingly poised heading into the second day.