MELBOURNE – Australia marched to the brink of a dominant series victory over New Zealand on Saturday after dismissing the visitors cheaply and extending their lead to 456 runs on day three of the Boxing Day test.
Leading 1-0 after routing the Black Caps in the Perth opener, captain Tim Paine's side pushed to 137 for four in their second innings at stumps after skittling the tourists out for 148 in a firestorm of pace bowling at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Replying to Australia's first innings 467, New Zealand were bowled out 120 runs short of forcing the hosts to bat again, but Paine sent his batsmen back out to pile on the agony.
At the close Matthew Wade was 15 not out, with Travis Head, the first innings centurion, on 12.
The equation is bleak for New Zealand captain Kane Williamson's men, who had hoped for a result in Melbourne to keep the series alive to the third and final match in Sydney next week.