Australia need just one wicket to register a series victory as they reduced the West Indies to 308-9 at stumps on day four of the 3rd Test at the WACA in Perth, on Saturday.
Chasing 359, the West Indies need another 51 runs for an improbable victory.
The Aussies were given an additional 30 minutes by the umpires to finish the job but the hosts failed to wrap up the Windies tail in the allotted time.
Kemar Roach, batting sensibly on 13, and Gavin Tonge (12) are the last-wicket pair at the crease.
They survived the last six overs stitching a 29-run partnership and have an implausible task of steering the Windies to a series-levelling victory on the final day.
Resuming the proceedings on Day 4, the Windies got off to a good start. They picked up the remaining two Australian wickets for a mere 13 runs and bowled out the hosts for a paltry 150 in the second innings.
Clint McKay was caught at cover from a leading edge off spinner Sulieman Benn. Later, Nathan Hauritz edged a ball from Dwayne Bravo to first slip, giving the all-rounder figures of 4-42.
Chasing 359 to win, the Windies got off to a slow start as Gayle played a placid knock. It was, however, his opening partner Travis Dowlin, who started aggressively, hitting three boundaries during his short stint at the crease.
His blazing innings was cut short when he was caught at square leg off the bowling of Doug Bollinger.
Gayle followed for 21 when an inside edge saw him caught behind off Shane Watson and Ramnaresh Sarwan was caught behind off Nathan Hauritz just before lunch.
After lunch, Narsingh Deonarine and Brendan Nash took stock of the situation and played a steady innings throughout the afternoon. Both batsman completed their half centuries and stitched up a 128-run partnership until Shane Watson struck to send back Deonarine, who compiled a well-made 82. Dwayne Bravo was the next to go for 1.
Debutant McKay got his first wicket in Test cricket in the form of Denesh Ramdin (14). However, all hopes of the Windies were wiped when Nash was bowled by Bollinger after making a patient 65.
Benn continued his eventful match by racing to 33 off 28 balls, courtesy two sixes. His antics were brought to a halt when he was caught at square leg by substitute fielder Theo Doropoulos, who had earlier dropped him on 11.
Johnson claimed a second wicket in the same over, this time Ravi Rampaul (10) was taken by McKay at mid-off.
Australia now need just one wicket to wrap up the Test and clinch the series 2-0.