Moises Henriques has fallen just short of a century as a Victoria side sparked by Will Sutherland fought their way back into the Sheffield Shield match in Melbourne.
Henriques scored 97, striking 10 fours and a six in his fluent 179-ball innings, but the Blues' bid to build a big first-innings lead on day 2 was scuppered by two collapses.
Replying to Victoria's 209, the Blues were 2-155, but lost two clumps of three wickets cheaply and needed some late tail-end hitting to reach 260, a lead of 51, with tea taken at the end of the innings.
Paceman Sutherland (4-57 off 22.1 overs) was prominent in the home team's resurgence.
He dismissed Jason Sangha (44) just before lunch, ending a 107-run third wicket stand with Henriques.
Early in the second session Sutherland's athletic dive and fine throw from mid on resulted in Matthew Gilkes (2) being run out and he then had Sean Abbott (1) caught behind, as NSW lost 3-7.
Henriques and wicketkeeper Baxter Holt (23) grabbed back the initiative with a seventh-wicket stand of 48.
Victoria hit back late in the session, taking 3-3, just after NSW passed Victoria's fiest innings score.
Holt was caught behind off Sam Elliott and Henriques was trapped lbw by spinner Todd Murphy, who also had Chris Green caught and finished with 3-44 off 16 overs.
The Blues' last two wickets added 47, with Chris Tremain scoring a brisk 24 not out, with both Adam Zampa and himself hitting a six.
Victoria had Sam Harper and Jon Holland subbed out after testing positive for COVID.
Victoria captain Peter Handscomb performed admirably behind the stumps in place of Harper, taking four catches.