New Zealand limped through to tea on 78-7 Saturday as their second innings capsized after they built a comprehensive 301 first innings lead over India in the first Test in Auckland.
With an overall lead of 379 and only three wickets remaining before India bat again a result either way seems likely with more than two days to play and no further rain forecast.
The first two sessions of play Saturday saw 17 wickets fall after India resumed the day at 130-4 and rapidly lost their last six wickets for 72 runs to be all out for 202.
Rather than enforce the follow on, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum opted to rest his pace bowlers and bat again only to see his top order self-destruct.
In the 35 minutes before lunch they lost four wickets for 15 runs as Mohammed Shami made amends for an indifferent performance in the first innings to have two for eight off his first two overs and by tea he had three for 33.
As New Zealand stumbled, the Indian fielding lifted markedly with Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane pulling off sharp catches to dismiss New Zealand senior batsmen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
In the pre-lunch onslaught Shami removed openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton, while the Zaheer Khan-Jadeja partnership claimed Williamson and McCullum was run out taking an unnecessary second single in the last over before the break.
The situation deteriorated further when play resumed as Corey Anderson went for two and New Zealand were 25-5, one run short of their worst ever Test score -- 26 at the same Eden Park ground against England in 1955.
Taylor assumed the role of repairing the innings and cautiously negotiated his way to 41 when he slashed at a short, wide delivery from Khan and was well caught one-handed by Rahane in the gully.
Southee came and went for a quick 14 leaving BJ Watling not out 11 at tea with Ish Sodhi yet to score.