England's bowlers ripped through the Cricket Australia XI top order to move to within three wickets of victory at the end of day three of their day-night tour match in Adelaide.
Chris Woakes was the CA XI's chief tormentor, taking 4-17, including three wickets in his first four overs as England reduced their hosts to 25-7 but some late resistance helped them up to 70-7 at the close.
That is still some 198 short of the victory target and England will hope to seal the win early on the fourth and final day.
However, while the bowlers excelled with the pink ball, England's batsmen looked rather less comfortable facing it as they were bowled out for 207.
Resuming on 5-0, Alastair Cook (32) and Mark Stoneman put on 79 for the first wicket before the former was caught behind off Simon Milenko (5-34).
Stoneman (51) went through to his third fifty in as many innings on this tour but his wicket sparked a collapse that saw England go from 93-1 to 124-7.
Joe Root made just one while Craig Overton, the last of the six wickets to fall in just over 10 overs, was dismissed for a duck for the second time in the match.
With the lead still shy of 200, Jonny Bairstow was joined in the middle by Mason Crane (18) and the pair calmly went about digging England out of the rather sizeable hole of their own making.
They added 70 for the eighth wicket and once Crane departed, Bairstow upped the ante once more to reach his fifty with a six over midwicket.
James Anderson, England's newly-appointed vice-captain, was the ninth and last man out with Jake Ball unfit to bat, leaving Bairstow unbeaten on 61.
With 268 to defend, it was then over to the bowlers to make a success of the day after a troubling middle session. Thankfully for England, Woakes was more than up to the task.
He took three quick wickets, including a beauty to bowl Jake Carder second ball, to leave the CA XI 7-3 before Craig Overton (2-10) castled Tim Paine.
After another wicket each for Woakes and Overton, Anderson (1-12) returned to claim his first and England seemed on course for a win inside three days.
However, Matthew Short (28no) and Gurinder Sandhu (17no), helped by Root decision to rest his seamers, battled their way to the close and ensure England are made to wait to complete their first victory of the tour.