Brisbane: After two hard-fought days at the Gabba, Australia tightened their grip on the Test on the third. It was through their leaders that they secured their advantage: the captain Michael Clarke scored his third century in four Tests and the vice-captain Brad Haddin struck an important and well-paced 80, after former skipper Ricky Ponting steered the middle order with his second consecutive half-century.
By contrast, it was a day of wasted opportunities for New Zealand. Clarke was dropped twice, either side of his hundred, and both were regulation chances. He had already had a life on the second day when he was bowled off a no-ball. And the inability of the visitors to skittle Australia's tail could prove costly: Australia's lead was 50 when the seventh wicket fell, but by the end of the innings it had ballooned to 132.
New Zealand had to face seven overs before stumps and things only got worse when Brendon McCullum edged to slip off the bowling of James Pattinson. They finished at 1 for 10 with Martin Guptill on 7 and the nightwatchman Doug Bracewell yet to score, and a mountain of work left ahead of them.