Hobart: New Zealand opened up a confident 153-run run lead after bowling Australia out for 136 to take control of the second cricket Test on Saturday.
New Zealand, who were out for 150 in their first innings, were 139-3 at stumps in their second innings on the second day on a Bellerive Oval wicket that appeared to be providing more assistance for the batsmen. It came after 20 wickets fell in just over four sessions on the pitch.
Australia, who experienced another failure from former captain Ricky Ponting when he was dismissed for five, lost six wickets in the first session to trail by 14 runs after the first innings.
Captain Ross Taylor (42) and Kane Williamson (34) combined for a half-century partnership at the end of the day and will resume on Sunday in an effort to improve New Zealand's chances of winning the second Test after having lost the first in Brisbane by nine wickets.
Chris Martin, Doug Bracewell and left-arm seamer Trent Boult making his Test debut earlier took three wickets each for New Zealand.
A late half-century partnership from tailenders and first-innings bowling stars James Pattinson and Peter Siddle helped steer Australia past the 100 mark. But once Siddle (36), who took three wickets in New Zealand's first innings, and Pattinson (17), who had five, were dismissed in consecutive overs, the two remaining batsmen could only add five runs.
Ponting extended his century drought to 30 innings as Australia stumbled to 81-7 at lunch.
Australia looked in danger, at least for a while, of another paltry total until they were rescued by the tailenders. In Cape Town last month during the first Test against South Africa, Australia scored just 47 runs, their lowest total in 109 years and a performance that Australia captain Michael Clarke called "disgraceful."
Ponting, whose last century came at Bellerive Oval against Pakistan nearly two years ago, walked immediately from the crease — even before umpire Nigel Llong raised his finger — when he was out lbw off a plumb delivery from Tim Southee that hit the middle of his pads.
Boult, replacing injured allrounder Daniel Vettori, snared his first Test wicket when he had veteran Mike Hussey caught behind for 8.
Clarke was bowled by Bracewell, his second wicket of the innings, shortly before lunch for 22, leaving Australia with only their bottom order to chase the remaining deficit.
Australia, resuming on Saturday at 12-1, lost their first wicket of the day when opener David Warner's outside edge off Martin was caught by Taylor at first slip for 15.
Warner was Martin's second of three wickets after he claimed Australia's other opener Phil Hughes for four before stumps on Friday. Usman Khawaja, caught on 7, again by Young, gave Martin his third victim.
Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was the sixth Australian wicket to fall, out for five off the bowling of Bracewell, followed by Clarke.
Australia have never lost in nine Test matches at Bellerive Oval — with seven wins and two draws. Both draws were against New Zealand.