A fired-up James Pattinson snared three quick wickets to leave New Zealand reeling as they battled to save the second Test and the series in Melbourne Sunday after being set a massive 488 to win.
The Black Caps went to lunch at 38 for three with Tom Blundell, a makeshift opener called up for the axed Jeet Raval, on 22 and Henry Nicholls not out one.
New Zealand had reached 32-0 when Pattinson ripped out three key wickets for three runs with Tom Latham, batting linchpin Kane Williamson and the experienced Ross Taylor all out cheaply.
Latham, the only one to offer resistance with a dogged 50 in their first innings, fell for eight, edging a thunderous delivery to diving wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
Captain Williamson soon followed without scoring, out lbw after unsuccessfully reviewing umpire Marais Erasmus” original decision.
Taylor didn”t fare much better, dragging onto his middle stump to leave Pattinson with figures of 3-5 at the interval off just two overs and New Zealand in serious trouble.
Australian skipper Paine earlier declared Australia”s second innings on 168 for five after Travis Head was bowled by Neil Wagner for 28. Matthew Wade was unbeaten on 30 with Wagner taking 3-50.
They had resumed at 137 for four, building on their first innings 467.
The Black Caps face a huge task on a day four pitch and against the fearsome pace attack of Pattinson, Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc, along with spin great Nathan Lyon.
They were skittled for 148 in their first innings.
It remains unclear whether Trent Boult will bat after his non-bowling hand was fractured by a Starc bouncer during his first knock.
He did not bowl Sunday and is due to return home when the Test is over, missing the third and final clash in Sydney.
New Zealand lost the first day-night Test in Perth by 296 runs.