Australia A will go onto day three on 181-1, trailing SA A by 123 runs in their second four-day match in Townsville.
The hosts reached stumps in a commanding position after bowling the visitors out for 304 earlier on at the Tony Ireland Stadium. That left them just 123 behind with nine first-innings wickets in hand.
Cameron Bancroft (28) was the sole wicket to fall after he edged Hardus Viljoen (1-23) to Dane Vilas. The opener put on 73 with partner Kurtis Patterson for the first wicket, with the latter reaching the close unbeaten on 86 (132 balls, 13 fours) and having shared an unbroken second-wicket stand of 108 with captain Peter Handscomb, who was with him on 58 (80 balls, 9 fours).
Earlier, the South Africans lost their remaining five wickets for 101 as Joe Mennie completed a second successive five-wicket haul. The all-rounder, who bagged a combined 7-65 to help the home side go 1-0 up in the two-game series last week, ended with 5-61 to dismiss the tourists in 128.5 overs.
Overnight pair Dane Vilas and Wayne Parnell fell after good starts of 24 and 29 respectively – both out in the first session of play.
There were also strong openings for Andile Phehlukwayo (31) and Dane Piedt (19) after lunch, but both fell to spinner Mitchell Swepson, also amongst the wickets with 3-55.
Duanne Olivier was last man out for 1.
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