Cellar-dwelling Victoria found form with the bat to defy both the New South Wales bowling attack and the Sheffield Shield standings as state red ball cricket resumed on Friday.
Needing a win to keep alive any chance of making the final, the Vics reached an impressive 5-318 at the end of day one against the unbeaten Shield leaders at the SCG.
It was a mixture of grit and attack from Victoria with Nic Maddinson leading the way with a free-flowing 95.
Travis Dean displayed character by returning to the middle in the third session to end the day unbeaten on 35 off 114 balls.
The opener had been forced off early in the day on 11 after suffering a fierce blow to the groin off the bowling of Trent Copeland.
Seb Gotch was also watchful to end the day on 59no from 158 balls.
Middle-order pair Peter Handscomb and Matt Short chipped in with 41 and 44 respectively.
Despite expectation that the newly introduced Dukes ball would assist the pacemen, it was spin duo of Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe who did the bulk of the work.
Test spinner Lyon claimed 3-86 but left-armer O'Keefe (1-49) claimed the key wicket with Maddinson, who was stumped just before tea.
Ashes Test opener Marcus Harris made just seven before he was the first wicket of the day to fall, lbw to Harry Conway (1-48).
Victoria named Wil Parker in their side as the spinner become the fourth youngest player to debut for Victoria, with the 17-year-old replacing the injured Jon Holland.