Australia moved a step closer to reclaiming the number one Test ranking on the back of Adam Voges’ second Test double century of the southern summer.
Voges struck 239 before Australia’s bowlers dutifully prised out four New Zealand wickets to ensure they were in total command after three days of the first Test in Wellington.
The Black Caps have been behind the eight-ball since their first-morning collapse and their hopes took another deflating blow from the final ball of the day when retiring captain Brendon McCullum, in his 100th Test, was trapped lbw by Mitch Marsh for 10.
That left the hosts at 178 for four and with a deficit of 201 runs just to make Australia bat again.
Voges, who last week re-signed for Middlesex, has made a habit of breaking records since he became the oldest Test batsman to score a century on debut, aged 35, against West Indies last June.
The runs have flowed since, he cracked an unbeaten 269 against the Windies in Hobart in June, and when he was finally dismissed returning a catch to Mark Craig it was the first time he had been out in Test cricket for almost 18 hours.
During that time he passed Sachin Tendulkar’s mark for the most Test runs without being dismissed, which stood at 497, and perhaps his only disappointment was his exit brought his average below 100 to 97.46.
After surviving an over before lunch New Zealand’s openers put on 81 before Nathan Lyon’s introduction prompted the first wicket.
Martin Guptill’s swipe was well held by Marsh after it skied high into the sky.
Josh Hazlewood earned reward for tight lines when Kane Williamson edged to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill before Tom Latham, who dug in for 63, was beaten in flight by Lyon.
McCullum then fell in the final over as his heopful review showed the ball crashing into middle.
Australia will go top of the Test rankings if they win the series, which concludes in McCullum’s home city of Chistchurch next week.