The fragility of the New Zealanders batting was once again exposed by a mixture some solid Australian bowling and loose shots from the Kiwi's in the final two sessions seeing the visitors stumble to 262/6 at stumps after the visitors had won the toss and elected to bat.
Opener Aaron Redmond was the top scorer for the Black Caps with 83 and Nathan Hauritz the leading wicket-taker for the Aussies with 2/63 off 16 overs.
Both sides made changes to their respective line-ups from Brisbane. New Zealand looking to strengthen their batting brought in Peter Fulton at the expense of all-rounder Grant Elliott. For Australia, Shane Watson was omitted from the winning squad at the Gabba for the surprise inclusion of Hauritz. The second choice spinner for New South Wales was a late call up to the Australian squad after the original spinner in the squad Jason Krejza rolled his ankle in training. Ironically Hauritz was to suffer the same fate, missing most of the last half to the day's play after rolling his ankle fielding in the deep.
Kiwi opening duo Aaron Redmond and Jamie How got the visitors to a solid, if unspectacular start to the New Zealand first innings, the pair putting on 45-runs for no loss in the opening hour of play. How though would fall shortly after the drinks break, a wild slash at a wide Mitchell Johnson delivery bringing the end of How's knock for 16.
Hauritz's introduction to the attack saw the Kiwi's open there shoulders and begin lifting their run rate, Hauritz welcomed back to test cricket by having 17-runs belted from his first over which help put the Black Caps in a strong position at lunch, finishing the opening session at 101/1.
After taking heavy punishment prior to lunch, Hauritz responded in style by claiming the scalp of Jesse Ryder for 13 before the Black Caps could add to the score. While Hauritz would've been relieved to have got the wicket it was a poor shot by the Kiwi No. 3 as he mistimed a low pull shot to Michael Clarke.
Redmond though was still proving to be a thorn in the Aussies side, the 29-year old batting with excellent poise and concentration throughout his innings and was heading for a much deserved maiden test century before falling for the Aussies trap hook, line and sinker. On 83 Redmond became Hauritz's second victim, the opener going for one big hit too many but only succeeding in hitting up a catch for Andrew Symonds.
Ross Taylor and Fulton then steadied the ship for the visitors putting on 64 for the fourth wicket before Fulton fell in similar fashion to Ryder mistiming a pull shot off Andrew Symonds with Simon Katich taking a superb diving catch. Fulton's dismissal for 29 left New Zealand four down for 194 at tea.
Ross Taylor was trapped leg before by Stuart Clark shortly after tea for 44 and when Daniel Flynn was bowled by Brett Lee for 11 the visitors were reeling at 228/6.
It was then up to New Zealand's most experienced batsmen in Brendan McCullum and Daniel Vettori to rescue the innings the innings, the pair digging in and curbing their natural attacking instincts to not only see off the new ball and also see the visitors clear to stumps with McCullum not out 30 and Vettori 12.
While the relatively moderate scoreline on what is considered the best batting track in Australia was disappointing for the Kiwi's, the most frustrating aspect of the day's play for the visitors was that every batsman got a start but none bar Redmond able to post a score above 50 and really build a damaging innings.