Paceman Chris Martin sparked another Australian batting collapse as New Zealand scrapped hard to stay in contention for an upset first cricket test victory in Brisbane on Friday.
On a frantic second day at the Gabba when 16 wickets fell for 280 runs, Australia ended 131 for six in their second innings, for an overall lead of 189.
Opener Simon Katich was the biggest thorn in New Zealand’s side, 67 not out at stumps alongside wicketkeeper Brad Haddin on six.
Early wickets tomorrow will set up an enthralling run chase on a pitch getting better for batting all the time, although the Black Caps will need to improve sharply on their ordinary first innings of 156.
Martin ended the day with three for 52 after it looked bleak for the tourists who conceded a 58-run first innings deficit at tea.
New Zealand needed a flying start with the ball, and Martin provided it with a gem of a delivery.
A struggling Matthew Hayden got the fright of his life when Martin seamed his first ball away and gloveman Brendon McCullum did the rest.
An Iain O’Brien double strike in his first over had Australia reeling as captain Ricky Ponting skied a pull shot on 17 then a disbelieving Michael Hussey was given out caught behind for nought by umpire Rudi Koertzen as replays showed it hit his pad.
Some Aaron Redmond brilliance removed Michael Clarke for nine, a direct hit from side-on running out the Australian vice-captain by a mere 10cm attempting a short single.
From 53 for four, Katich and Symonds added 53 to potentially guide Australia to safety but captain Daniel Vettori threw Martin the ball again in the lengthening shadows.
Local hero Symonds mistimed a pull shot on 20 and offered McCullum his seventh catch of the test, then fellow-allrounder Shane Watson was trapped leg before wicket for five and New Zealand could sense an upset.
Earlier the tourists were bundled out in under two sessions, in exactly 50 overs, after they began the day with a first innings lead in their sights.
The pitch wasn’t as lively as day one, it still offered seam movement and bounce but it was the continued problem of poor shot selection from the tourists that proved most costly as Ross Taylor topscored with 40.
Redmond was nicked out by Stuart Clark off the day’s first ball, bringing Jesse Ryder out for an eventful first test innings on Australian soil.
The big left-hander blazed five fours in his 50-ball innings of 30, was dropped on 11 by Haddin, then chased a wide one from Watson and was caught behind.
It was all on Taylor’s shoulders after vice-captain McCullum edged Mitchell Johnson to second slip on eight after two exquisite boundaries.
Taylor attacked and was well poised on 40 at lunch, but immediately after the break Brett Lee beat him for pace and was granted the lbw decision for his 299th test scalp.
Taylor faced 51 balls and hit seven fours, but with him went New Zealand’s chances of a decent total.
It signalled a collapse of six for 48 as only Daniel Flynn applied himself, batting 133 minutes and facing 80 balls in his 39 not out.
Johnson mopped up the tail to end with four for 30 as Vettori for once didn’t come to the rescue, caught at point by Symonds for two.