The BLACKCAPS will head to Perth 0-1 after Australia won the first Test in Brisbane by 208 runs.
Captain Brendon McCullum's 80 provided resistance on the final day, but when his stand with BJ Watling was broken, Australia zeroed in on victory by taking the final seven wickets for 130 runs to have the visitors all out for 295.
Nathan Lyon (3-63) was the most successful bowler as Australia celebrated a sweeping win. It was a double blow for the BLACKCAPS on tour following the announcement today that Jimmy Neesham is returning home. Mitchell McClenaghan is on his way to Perth where he will join the BLACKCAPS Test squad.
Stumps score: BLACKCAPS 142/3 (Australia 556/4 declared, BLACKCAPS 317, Australia 264/4 declared)
An intriguing final day of Test cricket looms at the 'Gabba where the BLACKCAPS will resume requiring a further 362 runs for victory in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane.
Brief rain and bad light brought an early end to day four, with Ross Taylor (20) and Brendon McCullum (4) at the crease for the visitors.
Australia had started the day by declaring their innings closed at 264 for 4 and choosing to send openers Tom Latham and Martin Guptill out to the middle.
The Kiwi pair again did their job by taking the shine off the ball and added 44 before Latham was struck on the foot by paceman Mitchell Starc and adjudged out LBW after a promising 29.
First innings centurion Kane Williamson arrived at the crease and picked up where he left off, with some sumptuous early boundaries.
At the other end. Guptill was digging in and lasted 133 balls before he was caught at first slip off spinner Nathan Lyon.
Williamson’s impressive start to the series continued as he raised a near run-a-ball half century with a beautifully timed glance through midwicket.
His golden run came to an end at the hands of Lyon and a touch and go LBW call.
Williamson was given out on the field after being struck on the back leg and, upon review, the decision was upheld — but only just, with the tracker showing the ball barely clipping the top of the stumps.
Captain Brendon McCullum joined Ross Taylor at the crease and the pair added six runs before the weather brought them from the field.
Play will resume half an hour earlier tomorrow, with a minimum of 98 overs to be bowled in the day.
Stumps score: AUSTRALIA 262/4 (Australia 556/4 declared, BLACKCAPS 317)
A stirring century from Kane Williamson proved a bright spot on another tough day at the 'Gabba for the BLACKCAPS.
While wickets fell around him, New Zealand’s number three peeled off his 11th Test century and arguably his most impressive.
Williamson struck 24 boundaries in his masterful knock of 140 and was the last man out as the BLACKCAPS' innings closed on 317, still trailing Australia by 239.
Australia captain Steve Smith chose not to enforce the follow on and, thanks to openers David Warner (117) and Joe Burns (128), the hosts hit stumps at 264/4 with a commanding lead of 503 runs.
Day three began with a glimmer of hope for the Kiwis, Williamson at the crease with gritty team mate BJ Watling in tow.
The pair started well, raising a 50-run partnership and the 200 total before Watling feathered one through to the keeper off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson.
Mark Craig played his shots and together with Williamson added 46 before skying one off fellow off spinner Nathan Lyon.
Williamson refused to be stopped at the other end, and, after carving Johnson through the off side for back-to-back boundaries, brought up his eighth century on foreign soil with a nicely weighted tuck off the hip.
Doug Bracewell dug in for his partner and contributed 16 off 46 before Mitchell Marsh managed to sneak one through his defence.
Paceman Tim Southee braved his back injury to add 14 while Williamson continued to put on a show at the other end.
His 178-ball knock eventually coming to an end at the hands of Mitchell Starc and the 'Gabba rose as one to acknowledge the brilliant knock.
The BLACKCAPS will need a similar performance, and more, in the coming days if they are to stave of an opening loss in the three-Test series.
The weather may yet prove an ally, with storms predicted for Brisbane on day four.
Stumps score: BLACKCAPS 157/5 (Australia 556/4 declared)
Things didn’t get any easier for the BLACKCAPS on day two at the 'Gabba, Australia showing just why they’re so formidable at their Brisbane fortress while star paceman Tim Southee left the field with a back issue.
Launching from a healthy starting point of 389/2 after day one, the hosts pushed on to make 556/3 declared, Usman Khawaja’s 174 the leading score.
While the BLACKCAPS got off to a positive start in their response, a superb tandem spell of bowing from Mitchell Johnson (2-52) and Mitchell Starc (2-30) reduced the visitors to 157/5 at stumps.
Kane Williamson (55) and BJ Watling (14) will resume tomorrow still trailing Australia by a sizeable 399 runs.
The first session was highlighted by a peach of a delivery from Trent Boult to dismiss Steve Smith. Having asked some early questions, Boult got one to shape in and clip the top of off-stump.
That would be as good as it got for the BLACKCAPS in the morning session, though, with Khawaja surpassing 150 and Australia reaching 500.
The fourth and final breakthrough came from Williamson, with Khawaja mistiming a reverse paddle and being smartly caught at backward point by Guptill. His masterful knock had come to an end, and with it so did the Australian innings, setting the BLACKCAPS a mammoth total.
The opening pair of Guptill and Latham negated the new ball without trouble and reached the tea break at a comfortable 43/0. However, a collapse would ensue in the final session, placing Australia firmly in the box seat.
First Josh Hazlewood took the edge of Guptill before Latham was caught at point off the bowling of Starc.
Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum came and went in similar fashion, both caught behind the wicket off Johnson.
When James Neesham was clean bowled soon after, the BLACKCAP had lost four for 16 and required some serious grit from Williamson and Watling to make stumps with no further damage.
Rain and thunder is expected overnight and features in the weekend forecast as well, meaning the weather may also play a part in this match yet.
Stumps score: Australia 389/2
The BLACKCAPS have plenty of work to do following day one of the first Test at The Gabba.
Anticipation for the series between the trans-Tasman rivals had ramped up on both sides of the divide in the days leading into the match, but it was the hosts who undoubtedly had the better of the opening day in Brisbane.
After having won the toss and opting to bat first, centuries to David Warner (163) and Usman Khawaja (102*) helped guide Australia to a commanding 389 for two by stumps.
The BLACKCAPS' bowlers toiled hard all day, but only Tim Southee and Jimmy Neesham could disrupt the wickets column, removing Joe Burns (71) and Warner.
Sunny conditions welcomed both teams on arrival at the ground and a minute's silence was observed before play to mark 100 years since the ANZACS landed at Gallipoli.
While McCullum had indicated he, too, was keen to put a total on the board first up, there were some promising signs for the BLACKCAPS bowlers in the opening session.
Southee and Trent Boult created pressure early on, Southee’s first three overs all maidens. Unfortunately, wickets eluded the pair with Warner and Burns riding out the difficult period before going on to capitalise.
Coming out for the second session at 100/0, the opening pair’s run rate climbed steadily as runs began to flow.
The breakthrough eventually came in the 39th over, from Southee, who was clearly the pick of the BLACKCAPS bowlers. He enticed the edge of Burns, however, momentum would remain with the home side.
Khawaja arrived at the crease and quickly matched Warner’s positive approach, with the pair showing particular aggression against spin.
After 141 balls, Warner was duly rewarded with his 13th Test century, celebrating with his customary leap into the air as he reached three figures.
His incredible knock would be stopped only by a special catch, Ross Taylor leaping one-handed at first slip and holding on to what was no more than half a chance.
It was a bright moment in a bleak day for the BLACKCAPS, who will return tomorrow hoping some early wickets with the second new ball just eight overs old.
Play resumes at 10am local time tomorrow (1pm New Zealand time).