Peter Forrest's unbeaten innings of 123 has Queensland in the box seat with a 176-run first-innings lead over Victoria at lunch on day three of their Sheffield Shield clash at the MCG.

Needing an outright win to keep their chances of a berth in the Shield final alive, the Bulls resumed at 5-285 and have advanced to 7-386 at the end of the morning session.

Forrest came to the crease when the visitors were on the back foot at 3-107, having lost two wickets in quick succession, and has proved the cornerstone of his side's effort to build a potentially match-winning lead.

Cameron Boyce is with Forrest and has 38 from 53 balls as Queensland search for quick runs.

James Hopes (29), caught at first slip off the bowling of John Hastings, and Michael Neser (11), caught behind off the bowling of Marcus Stoinis, were the batsmen dismissed during the morning session.

The Bulls have made the most of their opportunities, but it's been a torrid innings in the field for the Vics, who have been guilty of some sloppy fielding at times with at least three clear-cut chances going to ground.

Hastings is the leading wicket-taker for the Bushrangers with 3-59 from 24 overs.