Chris Rogers closed on a century as bad weather affected the third day of Victoria's Sheffield Shield clash with New South Wales.
Rogers reached 96 not out by stumps at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where only 59.4 overs were possible because of afternoon rain and later bad light.
The Victoria opener was in typically belligerent form, crawling to 13 at lunch as he looked to add to his first innings knock of 88.
But he mixed in some bigger shots when the rain relented, escaping on 67 when he played a short ball from Gurinder Sandhu on to his stumps, only to be rescued as the bowler had over-stepped.
He ended the day four shy of a century with mentor Dean Jones watching from the stands, clearly happy with the work they have been doing on his footwork, especially against spin bowling.
There was no joy for Australia's chief spin option, Nathan Lyon, who took 0-44 from his 17 overs as Victoria ended on 175-1, a lead of 58 runs with nine second innings wickets remaining.
Test pace bowler Ryan Harris was also frustrated in Queensland's clash with Tasmania, failing to take a wicket in 10 overs of their second innings as Ed Cowan scored an unbeaten 56 and George Bailey made it as far as nine by the close.
Bailey is looking to nail down the troublesome No 6 spot in the Australia batting line-up and will get a further chance to impress selectors on Saturday at the Gabba, where the first Test takes place later this month.
And it proved an up-and-down day for Mitchell Johnson in Western Australia's clash with South Australia at the WACA in Perth.
He grabbed 3-88 but proved somewhat expensive in his 21 overs as teenage batsman Travis Head made 92 for South Australia.