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Australia's bowlers captured three West Indies wickets after lunch to move within range of a series-clinching victory before the close of day four of the second test on Tuesday.

Resuming on 64-1 after the lunch break, the Caribbeans limped to 146-4 at tea at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, still 314 runs shy of their victory target of 460.

Jermaine Blackwood was on 16, with wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin on 19 and battling to keep their team alive in sublime conditions.

Australia captain Steve Smith declared his team's second innings closed at 179-3 before the start of play on the fourth day, ensuring West Indies would need to set a record in chasing down an imposing target.

With opener Kraigg Brathwaite dismissed by Nathan Lyon for 31 in the morning session, Rajendra Chandrika and Darren Bravo resumed after lunch and soon came under pressure as the Australian bowlers ploughed a wider line outside off-stump.

The pair added only 19 further runs before Peter Siddle struck to remove Bravo for 21 with a teasing delivery that the Trinidadian chased with a driving bat, only to nick to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.

Bravo's wicket triggered a minor collapse as James Pattinson soon trapped Chandrika lbw for 37, ending the opener's patient 130-ball inning.

Having had two wickets cancelled by television replay for over-stepping his crease on day three, Pattinson was put through another examination when Chandrika reviewed the decision but the tracking technology showed the ball just clipping the bails.

On a pair of ducks, under-fire batsman Marlon Samuels faced 17 balls before getting off the mark but just as he appeared comfortable he was caught nicking behind for 19 with a flat-footed prod at a straighter delivery from Mitchell Marsh.

That left the West Indies teetering at 118-4, with all four of their top batsmen having squandered starts.

Australia's no-ball dramas of day three returned to haunt paceman Josh Hazlewood earlier in the morning session.

Hazlewood had Bravo caught behind for 12 on the first ball of the last over before lunch, but a TV replay showed the bowler had over-stepped his crease.

The no-ball was the third to deny Australia wickets in the match, with Pattinson reprieving fellow paceman Carlos Brathwaite twice on day three, allowing the Barbadian to score 59 on debut.