Firebrand Johnson snared two wickets and fellow left-arm pacer Starc claimed another two as the Black Caps succumbed late on the second day after a massive Australian declaration. At the close, the Kiwis were holding on at 157 for five in reply to Australia's 556 for four and looking down the barrel of defeat with three days still to play.

Kane Williamson was leading the resistance with an unbeaten 55, with wicketkeeper B.J. Watling providing support on 14. The Black Caps steadied after losing four wickets for 16 runs at one stage against the pace and fire of Johnson and Starc. Martin Guptill had a life, put down on 12 by Joe Burns before he was snapped up low down at third slip by David Warner off Josh Hazlewood for 23.
The Black Caps lost four wickets in 25 balls when Starc had Tom Latham caught by Nathan Lyon at point for 47 and then struggling Ross Taylor went for a seven-ball duck. Johnson angled one across Taylor's body and Steve Smith took a regulation catch at second slip.

Skipper Brendon McCullum lasted just six balls before he fell to the fired-up Johnson, getting a healthy edge to Adam Voges at first slip for six. James Neesham was beaten by Starc's searing pace and had his stumps spreadeagled for three to continue the carnage.

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