Australia pacemen round off another dominant day
New Zealand 5 for 157 (Williamson 55*) trail Australia 4 for 556 dec (Khawaja 174, Warner 163, Voges 83*, Burns 71) by 399 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
For 30 overs, New Zealand's batsmen gave a very good impression of a side completely at ease with batting at the Gabba. Tom Latham and Kane Williamson looked totally secure, and though Martin Guptill had fallen, his wicket did not feel like a moment to usher the sort of collapse typical for under-prepared touring teams in these parts, even as they looked up at a scoreboard showing Australia's gargantuan 4 for 556.
Australia's captain Steven Smith had shuffled through all his bowlers, and many had started to wonder whether this was an uncommonly dull Brisbane pitch, or a flat home attack. But then things changed as though someone flicked a switch connected to the middle. Latham bunted the first ball of a Mitchell Starc spell to backward point, and before they knew it New Zealand had haemorrhaged 4 for 16 in 26 wicket-splattered balls. Only the impressively correct Williamson was able to endure.
Starc and Josh Hazlewood both bowled with speed and direction, but it was Mitchell Johnson's double defeat of Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum - both senior men looking very much out of sorts in their brief stays - that was most telling. Based on the evidence of the past two Gabba Tests, there is no more searching an examination in cricket than to face Johnson on this ground, and neither Taylor nor McCullum looked to have come close to finding an answer to his speed or bounce.
That slide put Australia well and truly in command of the Test, a position they had hoped to establish when Smith called in his batsmen less than halfway through day two. Usman Khawaja and Adam Voges are seldom likely to enjoy a more carefree Test match partnership than the 157 they added either side of lunch, both showing themselves to be batsman capable of capitalising on a strong start from David Warner and Joe Burns they day before.
Khawaja's innings featured numerous further signs that he will be a fixture in Australia's top order for some years to come, as he weathered an improved second new ball spell by Trent Boult - in which he accounted for Smith - before pushing on to a most elegant and chanceless 174. Voges was never less than neat, and was prevented from reaching a hundred only by Smith's proactive closure.
The visitors had been afflicted by a back complaint for Tim Southee, who bowled in obvious discomfort before leaving the field for further examination and treatment, and by day's end Neil Wagner had been called up as cover for Perth. Boult delivered a second new ball spell of the sort of quality many had expected yesterday, swinging the ball late on a disciplined line and finding a way through Smith with near enough to the perfect delivery.
However Khawaja and Voges ensured this would not lead to a rush of wickets by playing sensibly against good bowling and then upping their scoring rates in the lead-up to lunch. After the interval they accelerated further, and took increasing liberties as Smith ran out messages to expect a closure around an hour before tea.
Khawaja's intent to carry on to a major tally was clear by how he did not initially strain to maintain the scoring rate of the previous evening against tired bowlers, often seeking singles to play the swinging ball from the non-striker's end.
Voges meanwhile showed an ability to handle the moving ball that he had developed over the course of a largely unsatisfying Ashes tour, playing the ball late and then pouncing on anything loose. By the break he had moved to 50 in his first Test innings on home soil.
Both batsmen targeted the finger spin of Mark Craig once again - the key link man in the New Zealand attack was left nursing figures of 0 for 156 from 31 overs too inconsistent to be effective.
Ultimately it was Kane Williamson's part-time spin that ended the stand at 157 when Khawaja tried a reverse-sweep. Smith's closure sent out Guptill and Latham for a testy hour, but they took nine runs from Starc's opening over and from there accumulated runs steadily to leave the Australians thinking about the best way to get into the middle order in the evening.
Guptill survived a difficult chance to Joe Burns at short leg on 12, but was not so fortunate when he edged Hazlewood and saw David Warner dive low to his right for an exceptional catch made more so by the fact of his recent thumb fracture. Latham and Williamson then looked secure enough to suggest Australia would struggle to separate them, but the former's lapse against Starc opened up an end.
Taylor never looked close to being comfortable before skewing an edge to Smith at second slip, before McCullum was late on a drive that slid off the edge into the midriff of Voges at first. Jimmy Neesham then had no sort of riposte to a Starc delivery that was fast and tailing in to splay the stumps via the allrounder's pads... This may be a new Australia, but after two days it looks very much like the same old Gabba scoreline.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig