Australia has virtually played New Zealand out of contention in the second Test after continuing its total domination of the match on day four.
The Australians blasted 178 runs in the morning session before declaring at lunch to set the Black Caps an intimidating victory target of 479 runs, a record chase in Hamilton.
But any hopes New Zealand harboured of a miraculous win were all but lost at stumps, with five wickets falling in the two sessions after lunch for a stumps total of 5 for 185.
Unbeaten pair Martin Guptill (29) and Brendon McCullum (19) represented the Black Caps’ last line of defence but, with 294 runs still required in three sessions, history is well and truly against them.
Mitchell Johnson again stood up to be counted with three of the five New Zealand wickets, taking his overall match figures to an impressive 7 for 98.
The highest fourth-innings total in Hamilton is the 6 for 344 Sri Lanka compiled to force a draw in 1991, a record that would take some beating.
And with a further 135 runs required on top of that, Australian captain Ricky Ponting will feel confident of wrapping up a 2-0 series win and completing an unbeaten Test summer.
Despite losing four wickets in the morning session, Australia piled on the runs after resuming at 4 for 333.
The Black Caps dismissed Michael Clarke, Marcus North, Johnson and Brad Haddin but could not patch the leak of runs with Australia reaching the lunch break at 8 for 511 before declaring.
Simon Katich top scored with his 10th Test century on day three, worth 106, with four other players notching half-tons.
Watson (65) and Michael Hussey (67) both dominated with the bat on Monday before Clarke and North improved their overnight scores, both not out 42 at stumps on day three, to 63 and 90 respectively.
Clarke was brought undone by Brent Arnel (3 for 77) with an lbw appeal that survived a challenge review from the Australians.
North and Johnson were the next to go, in consecutive deliveries from Daniel Vettori but the New Zealand skipper could not procure a hat-trick in his 100th Test.
With Australia firmly in control by this point Haddin was allowed to play his natural game and blasted 48 from 40 balls before he was bowled by Jeetan Patel.
When Johnson was handed the ball by Ponting it was almost inevitable what was to follow as the left-armer lived up to his reputation as one of the world’s best bowlers.
He started in fine fettle with the wickets of both openers, first rocking Tim McIntosh’s stumps before coaxing a neat edge from BJ Watling through to Haddin.
New Zealand put together a 54-run partnership for the third wicket before Johnson struck again to remove first-innings hero Ross Taylor for 22 to make it 3 for 107.
Mathew Sinclair looked set and relaxed at the crease but unravelled on 29 he was trapped in front by the part-time spin of Clarke, before Nathan Hauritz bamboozled spin counterpart Vettori for 22.
Vettori’s challenge fell flat and the captain knew it, waiting on the boundary rope for the decision to be confirmed after seeing compelling video evidence to prove his dismissal.
That left New Zealand at 5 for 152 and luckily for the home side Australia was unable to grab another scalp for the close of play, leaving McCullum and Guptill with miraculous tasks on the final day.