England Lions trail New South Wales XI by 279 runs with five first-innings wickets remaining in Wollongong, with Dan Lawrence passing 50 for the fourth time on the tour.
Resuming on 242 for four, the NSW XI batsmen frustrated the Lions bowlers, passing 400 before declaring with eight wickets down.
Arjun Nair was dismissed by Ollie Robinson in the fourth over of the day, but Nick Bertus and Daniel Sams worked their way to a 116-run partnership over the next 27 overs.
Dan Lawrence dismissed both of them in successive overs, Bertus bowled for 44 and Sams LBW for a quickfire 80. Tyran Liddiard and Steve O’Keefe then took the score past 400 with a 33-run stand, with captain Ryan Gibson declaring when O’Keefe was dismissed by Virdi.
In reply, James Bracey was unable to build on his two successive 50s, falling in the second over to Sams for one. Bracey’s opening partner Tom Kohler Cadmore made 12 before being bowled by Mickey Edwards, leaving the Lions 23 for two in tricky batting conditions, with the floodlights aiding the declining natural light.
Lawrence continued his fine form, which has seen him score back-to-back centuries in the two previous four-day games, ticking the scoreboard along with the more circumspect Sam Northeast for company.
The pair put on 56 before Lawrence edged Sams behind, departing for 53. Sam Hain joined Northeast at the crease to help the score into three figures but fell for 11 to become Edwards’ second wicket.
Skipper Tom Abell was run out without scoring, bringing Brydon Carse to the crease to see out the final five overs of the day, with Northeast unbeaten on 43.