New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor's century failed to provide any momentum for the home team, as Australia took a two run lead with ten wickets in hand when bad light stopped play on Day two of the second Test at Hamilton's Seddon Park.
Taylor rode his luck and scored the fastest century in New Zealand history with a brilliant 138 to provide a 33-run first-innings lead to the Kiwis, who were bowled out for 264 at tea in reply to Australia's first innings of 231.
At stumps, Australian openers Shane Watson (28 not out) and Simon Katich (5 not out) took the visitors to 0-35.
Earlier in the day, Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson lead the pace attack and took crucial wickets at regular intervals to finish with the figures of 4-59, while fellow fast bowlers Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris took three wickets each.
Australia looked sloppy in the field, as they conceded over throws, lacked their normal precision and missed several chances to dismiss Taylor, who hit 19 fours and four sixes from 103 deliveries, The Australian reports.
Taylor's 100 came off 81 balls and was the fastest by a New Zealand player, overtaking skipper Daniel Vettori' 82 ball century against Zimbabwe in 2005.
He was eventually caught behind off Bollinger, as Australia successfully applied for a review by the TV umpire.
Resuming the day on 1-19, New Zealand opener Mathew Sinclair (11) was the first man to be dismissed when he was yorked by Johnson at 2-30.
Bollinger bowled Bradley-John Watling for 46 and Harris had Martin Guptill (4) caught at second slip just before lunch at 4-143.
Harris made a key breakthrough after lunch when Vettori was caught behind for 15.
Johnson then came back to finish off the tail and took the wickets of Brendon McCullum (5), Jeetan Patel (7) and Brent Arnel (6).