BRISBANE (Agencies) - Riding on a superb century from Simon Katich, Australia are sitting on a commanding position giving the New Zealand a mammoth target of 327 runs on the third day of the first Test on Saturday. Katich hit an unbeaten 131 runs and in the process became the first batsman in almost a decade to take his bat through the innings. He is the fifth Australian to do so and helped his team to post 268 runs in their second innings. For the Kiwis pacer Southee could not produce the same vein of form which he did in the first innings, where he picked 4 for 63. With a stiff target to follow, New Zealand batsman got off to a worst start they can imagine losing four wickets with the scoreboard reading only 49, Brett Lee claimed his 300 Test scalp in the process. Only Ross Taylor provided some resistance and was able to combat the home side's attack and his 67 not out saw New Zealand close the day at 143/6. The lost of both Daniel Flynn and Grant Elliott in the dying overs of the game were big blows for the Kiwis nonetheless. Any hope of a miracle to clinch the match for New Zealand now solely rest with Taylor and the captain who will accompany him to the crease at the start of play on Sunday with a deficit of 183 runs. The match could have been over on the third day but for a fighting 84-run stand between Taylor and Daniel Flynn for the fifth wicket. The two players played sensibly to pick the gaps with wise shots and rarely took any risks. The day began with Australia only 189 ahead on 131/6, but the tail provided Katich with a superb support and he didn't needed a second chance to tip the balance in Australian favour. The century arrived for Katich amidst two slices of luck on 70 and 86 with Ian O'Brien failing to hold a return catch and Jesse Ryder dropping one at short leg off Daniel Vettori's delivery. When the visitors came into bat all eyes were on Brett Lee, who had a dreadful India series. It took him only three deliveries to notch up the 300 wickets mark with Jamie How becoming his victim, though he was on the expensive side. He became the fourth Australian to reach the milestone. New Zealand's misery was far from over as they suffered another double blow after tea with Jesse Ryder (24) and Brendon McCullum (3) both adjudged LBW to Johnson and Clark respectively. But Taylor and Flynn hung around for New Zealand. Taylor hits his half-century with a mix of caution and aggression in 79 balls which included six fours but Flynn was unable to keep him company till the end. He was bowled by left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson. New Zealand's agony was further compounded by Elliott's exit again bowled while offering no shot to the final ball of the day to Clark, who was the pick of the bowler for the host with a figure of 3/23. SCOREBOARD AUSTRALIA 1st innings: 214 for all in 77 overs (M Hussey 35, M Clarke 98, S Clark 13*, TG Southee 4-63, IE O'Brien 2-44, JD Ryder 2-7) NEW ZEALAND 1st innings: 156 for all (JD Ryder 30, L Taylor 40, D Flynn 39*, B Lee 2-38, SR Clark 2-46, SR Watson 2-35, MG Johnson 4-30) AUSTRALIA 2nd innings: ML Hayden c McCullum b Martin 0 SM Katich not out 131 RT Ponting c Redmond b O'Brien 17 M Hussey c McCullum b O'Brien 0 MJ Clarke run out (Redmond) 9 A Symonds c McCullum b Martin 20 SR Watson lbw b Martin 5 BJ Haddin b Vettori 19 B Lee b Vettori 7 MG Johnson c Vettori b Elliott 31 SR Clark c Vettori b Southee 18 EXTRAS (lb 10, nb 1) 11 TOTAL (all out; 81.2 overs; 346 mins) 268 Fall of wickets1-0 (Hayden, 0.1 ov), 2-40 (Ponting, 8.2 ov), 3-40 (Hussey, 8.6 ov), 4-53 (Clarke, 14.5 ov), 5-109 (Symonds, 31.5 ov), 6-115 (Watson, 35.2 ov), 7-156 (Haddin, 50.2 ov), 8-186 (Lee, 58.2 ov), 9-239 (Johnson, 77.3 ov), 10-268 (Clark, 81.2 ov) BOWLING CS Martin 21-5-69-3 TG Southee 16.2-5-62-1 IE O'Brien 17-1-58-2 GD Elliott 6-1-15-1 DL Vettori 19-4-46-2 JD Ryder 2-0-8-0 NEW ZEALAND, 2nd innings AJ Redmond c & b Clark 10 JM How c Ponting b Lee 0 JD Ryder lbw b Johnson 24 LRPL Taylor not out 67 BB McCullum lbw b Clark 3 DR Flynn b Johnson 29 GD Elliott b Clark 0 EXTRAS (lb 5, w 2, nb 3) 10 TOTAL (6 wickets; 44 overs) 143 To bat captainDL Vettori, IE O'Brien, TG Southee, CS Martin Fall of wickets1-1 (How, 0.3 ov), 2-30 (Redmond, 9.6 ov), 3-40 (Ryder, 14.6 ov), 4-49 (McCullum, 17.3 ov), 5-133 (Flynn, 40.4 ov), 6-143 (Elliott, 43.6 ov) BOWLING B Lee 9-0-53-1 SR Clark 12-5-23-3 MG Johnson 12-4-25-2 SR Watson 5-1-19-0 A Symonds 4-0-12-0 MJ Clarke 2-0-6-0 Toss New Zealand, who chose to field first Player of the match tba Umpires BR Doctrove (West Indies) and RE Koertzen (South Africa) TV umpire RJ Tucker Match referee BC Broad (England) Reserve umpire NS McNamara.