Australia are well on course for a resounding victory over New Zealand in the second Test after the home side was left struggling on 185 for five at stumps, at Seddon Park, in Hamilton, on Tuesday.
Resuming on 333 for four, overnight batsman Michael Clarke (63) and Marcus North (90) ground the New Zealanders to complete half-centuries.
Later, Brad Haddin cracked a quick-fire 48 off 40 deliveries to stretch Australia's score. All-rounder Nathan Hauritz joined the party and made 41 off 62 deliveries before Ponting decided to declare the innings on 511 for 8 at lunch.
Chasing an improbable 479 for victory, the New Zealanders were left reeling as Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson struck early blows to send back Tim McIntosh (19) and B Watling (24) and have the Kiwis on 89 for 2 at lunch.
The pace of the match continued to stay in Australia's favour in the third session as Johnson came back after lunch to put the New Zealanders in further trouble. This time Ross Taylor, who made a fighting century in the first innings, couldn't repeat his feat and was caught behind.
None of the New Zealand batsmen could score more than 30 runs in an innings dominated by Johnson, who collected three wickets after bowling the quickest he has in the series.
Clarke and Hauritz then picked Mathew Sinclair (29) and captain Daniel Vettori (22) to reduce the Kiwis to 152 for 5.
Martin Guptill (29 not out) and Brendon McCullum (19 not out) are still at the crease, and will have to play through the skin of their teeth, to save the match.
With half the side back in the pavilion and still another 294 runs to make, Guptill and McCullum have a huge task at hand.