It took ACT Comets all-rounder Daniel Magin just 94 balls to smash his team back into the Futures League contest before Queensland's Michael Philipson responded with his second century to give the visitors the upper hand at Manuka Oval on Wednesday.
Queensland goes into the final day leading by 317 runs with five wickets in hand after Philipson (109) cancelled out the earlier good work of Magin (112) and Comets captain David Dawson (143 not out).
Novocastrian Magin scored a scorching century in the opening session to become the fifth Comet to make a ton on debut, which included a hook shot for six that landed on the roof of the Menzies Stand.
The 25-year-old said he was just glad to help his team get back into the contest.
"I've never been the type to hang around," Magin said. "I like to play my shots and I guess today it just came off.
"It was just good to get us back in the match. We were sort of struggling overnight and then a good first session by me and 'Dawso' was good."
Comets coach Mark Higgs said he'd been trying to lure Magin to Canberra for a couple of years.
He hoped Queensland would set a reasonable target to make it a contest on the final day, especially after it opted to declare while still 69 runs behind.
Higgs was confident the wicket was still good enough to give them a realistic chance of going for the win – provided Queensland made a game of it.
"If you want to win the match and we had've gone past their total, we'd absorbed too much time in the match to have a look at getting full points and I don't think we should play that way to just dribble over the line or anything like that," said Higgs, who was also one of the five to score a century on debut.
"We probably could've taken a few more wickets and put a bit more pressure on them, but they got away from us in the last hour – but our intent was always to win the match."
AT A GLANCE
Queensland 5-248 (Michael Philipson 109, Mitchell Phelps 2-27) and 6-439 dec, ACT 8-370 dec (David Dawson 143 no, Daniel Magin 112, Cameron Gannon 3-66, Cameron Brimblecombe 3-72)