New Zealand A 147 and 191 for 2 (Solia 62*) lead Australia A 263 (Jewell 78, Kuggeleijn 5-74) by 75 runs
It was an impressive day for the visitors after Australia A had started only six runs behind their first innings of 147. They chipped away at the middle order and Kuggelejin took out the bowlers, although the lower order provided handy runs.
Nick Kelly was very close to bagging a king pair as his first delivery zipped past the outside edge, but he and Solia, who earlier played his part with the ball claiming two wickets, then settled into a productive second-wicket stand of 77 either side of a rain delay which arrived during the tea interval.
The Australia A quicks struggled for the control they showed in the first innings while Buckingham and Mitch Perry sent down 11 no-balls between them.
Bruce was also dropped on 34, when Caleb Jewell could not quite haul in a difficult chance diving at square leg from a pull, but the New Zealand A captain did not shelve the stroke and continued to take on the short delivery.
Australia A had resumed on 141 for 3 and Jewell looking to pick up from his fluent display on the first afternoon. He collected a brace of early boundaries but three figures proved elusive when Brett Randell got one through him from round the wicket.
New Zealand A kept chipping away to keep the hosts within touching distance. Campbell Kellaway bottom-edged a loose drive against a very wide delivery, while both Joel Paris and Jimmy Peirson were sharply held in the slips.
But the lower-order added useful runs with the last three wickets combining for 63. Perry slashed to slip off what became the final ball of the morning session before Steketee and Mitchell Swepson scored briskly after the break to take the lead over 100.
A change to a short-ball attack by Kuggeleijn proved successful when Swepson miscued into the leg side and he completed his five-wicket haul when he ended Steketee’s valuable contribution.
Meanwhile, Wes Agar has been withdrawn from the series due to lower back soreness. Buckingham will now travel to MacKay for the second four-day game having originally only been set to play the opening match.