Quick wickets at the top of the order have put New Zealand in pole position to wrap up the first test against Pakistan – though the visitors have showed they are prepared to fight.
Captain Kane Williamson declared New Zealand's second innings in the middle session of the fourth day, leaving Pakistan an improbable 373 to win.
The needle moved from improbable to near impossible after a sensational start from the new-ball bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
With just his second delivery, Boult got one to rear up sharply to Abid Ali who could only throw his gloves up in front of his face. BJ Watling dived across in front of first slip to take a neat catch.
One over later, and with Pakistan still yet to open their second-innings account, Southee had Shan Masood hanging out the washing and there was no need for Watling to intervene as the ball flew at catchable height to Ross Taylor.
Southee completed a memorable evening when he had Haris Sohail chipping tamely to short cover to make the score 37-3.
Any hopes of a quick conclusion were dashed, however, as the classy Azhar Ali (34 not out off 117 balls) and crab-like Fawad Alam (21 from 55), dug in.
New Zealand will not feel too perturbed by the partnership as they have 98 overs tomorrow and a second new ball if needed, but they would like to see a bit more from their only genuine spin option, Mitchell Santner.
At times he extracted turn and bounce from the fourth-day wicket, but not consistently enough to trouble either batsmen. Alam in particular looked comfortable rocking back to pull and cut.
The fifth day looms as an important juncture in Santner's test carer. Fifth day, fourth innings is when spinners are expected to earn their corn.
After a pro forma first session-and-a-half where Tom Blundell burnished his credentials and Pakistan unashamedly did nothing but try to restrict the scoring rate, the match kicked back into gear in the second session.
New Zealand's top order ignored the damage to their Statsguru page and instead swung for the fences.
Blundell (64) was first to go, bowled by Mohammad Abbas when on the charge.
Left handers Tom Latham (53) and Henry Nicholls (11) were both caught on the fence hooking, and in between Williamson skied a top edge to the keep while trying to swat one over mid-on. The New Zealand captain has played a lot of shots over the course of his career, none quite so disfigured.
BJ Watling was run out trying for a mad second and soon after Williamson pulled the plug on the innings.
The biggest question facing him was how long he felt his bowlers needed to dismiss an inexperienced lineup. He would have known, too, that for all his courage, Neil Wagner, a key fourth innings weapon, was capable of playing only a limited role having discovered that he had two, not one, broken toes.
With weather not forecast to be a factor on the final day, four-and-a-bit sessions felt about right and when Pakistan were 0-2 after three overs it looked even better.
Pakistan's late fight has delayed, what seems at least, the inevitable.