Replying to Australia's first-innings total of 306 for 3, England batted throughout the day to reach 282 for 5 off 116 overs.
The home side largely had their opener, Janette Brittin, to thank as she steadied the innings with her second successive Test century, and the fifth of her career. She reached the total in 230 minutes, hitting 11 fours along the way, and by the close of play Brittin was still unbeaten on 148 not out.
She and Charlotte Edwards had earlier put on a stand of 103 for the first wicket before Edwards needlessly ran herself out when on 48. Barbara Daniels then rarely looked comfortable in reaching 22, and the captain, Karen Smithies, compiled a neat 26 before putting a full-toss straight to midwicket.
Clare Connor then gloved to the wicketkeeper down the leg side, and Jane Cassar was another victim of the run-out curse which has afflicted England throughout both the one-day and Test series against Australia.
Australia's seam bowler, Charmaine Mason, meanwhile, had to leave the field with a groin injury midway through the afternoon session.
n Australia A established a commanding position on the second day of the mini-Test at Boghall, Linlithgow. The Scots fought hard but fell victim to several debatable umpiring decisions and trailed by 193 runs at the close.
The Australian opener, Matthew Hayden, was on course for his second century of the match, unbeaten on 88 with Mike Hussey on 55.Reuse content