Paceman Josh Hazlewood tore through the Black Caps batsmen to give Australia a sniff of victory after a contentious third umpire decision stole the tourists' momentum during the inaugural day/night cricket test in Adelaide.
Hazlewood shone under the floodlights of Adelaide Oval with three wickets and New Zealand slumped to 116-5 at the close of a roller-coaster day two, hounded by the hooping pink ball of the third and final test.
The Black Caps clung precariously to a 94-run lead after 13 wickets tumbled through the course of the day, adding to the 12 that fell on a frenetic day one.
Debutant all-rounder Mitchell Santner (13 not out) and BJ Watling (7) were left to salvage something from the wreckage but New Zealand's hopes of a series-levelling victory looked fraught as darkness descended.
Earlier in brilliant sunshine, the tourists had dominated in the field and Australia were on the ropes at 118-8, in reply to 202.
But third umpire Nigel Llong intervened, thumbing his nose at the decision review technology that strongly suggested spinner Nathan Lyon was out caught in the slips.
A ball from debutant spinner Santner had ricocheted off Lyon's upper arm during an attempted sweep shot and the 'Hotspot' technology showed a mark on his bat.
Though Lyon started walking back to the dressing room, 'Snicko' showed no audio evidence of a nick and Llong's final call after nearly five minutes of deliberation triggered ironic cheers from the crowd of 42,372.
It also cost New Zealand their last review and triggered an astonishing momentum shift as Lyon and wicketkeeper Peter Nevill plundered the bowlers.
Lyon smashed Santner for 15 runs and a leg bye in one over before falling for 34.
Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc, hobbling on a broken foot, added to New Zealand's pain with an unbeaten 24, blasting spinner Mark Craig over the long on fence twice as Australia charged past New Zealand's first innings total.
Nevill was caught in the deep for 66, wrapping up Australia's total for 224, but New Zealand were condemned to batting in the perilous evening session.
Hazlewood removed both openers Martin Guptill (17) and Tom Latham (10) and finished with 3-32 after trapping Ross Taylor in front for 32.
Fast-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh had Kane Williamson caught behind for nine and removed Brendon McCullum lbw for 20.
-Reuters / RNZ