New Zealand routed Sri Lanka by an innings and 65 runs in the second Test to secure a 1-1 series draw in Colombo.

BJ Watling joined Tom Latham in bringing up three figures at a P Sara Oval once again sodden by rain and the tourists declared on 431-6 – a first-innings lead of 187.

Needing to bat out the rest of proceedings to secure a draw, Sri Lanka's top order proved wholly ill-equipped for the task at hand as they slipped to five down by lunch.

Niroshan Dickwella held up the inevitable with 51 but a superb collective effort from New Zealand eventually overwhelmed his team, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel and William Somerville taking two wickets apiece.

Overnight rain delayed the start of the final day but Watling (105 not out) was in the mood to make up for lost time.

Colin de Grandhomme top-edged Lasith Embuldeniya out of the rough to be caught by Lahiru Kumara for 83, but Watling continued uninhibited – advancing down the track and cracking sweeps and reverse sweeps on his way to three figures.

Southee blasted an unbeaten 24 from 10 deliveries, including two fours and two sixes, and Kane Williamson called his side in after they had added 49 in five overs.

Lahiru Thirimanne's run out saw Sri Lanka begin their attempt to save the game in dismal fashion before Kusal Perera slashed Boult behind to Watling.

Sri Lanka were 11-3 when Angelo Mathews edged a De Grandhomme outswinger to Ross Taylor at slip. The procession continued as Southee pouched first-innings centurion Dhananjaya de Silva off Patel and Somerville bowled Kusal Mendis through the gate.

Having taken lunch on a dismal 33-5, Dickwella and Dimuth Karunaratne belatedly provided some staunch Sri Lankan resistance.

Yet skipper Karunaratne - not able to bat higher than seven after suffering a quadricep tear - padded up to be dismissed lbw by Southee for 21, ending a 70-ball stay and handing the New Zealand seamer a 250th Test wicket.

Dilruwan Perera was caught in the cordon driving to give Southee (2-15) his second scalp before tea, but Dickwella still remained.

However, the wicketkeeper's 161-ball vigil finally came to an end when Latham snaffled him at bat-pad off Patel - Suranga Lakmal having departed in similar fashion to Somerville.

It left the magnificently miserly Boult (2-17) to dispatch Lasith Embuldeniya with a fierce lifter he could only glove to a gleeful Williamson.

Trent Boult and Tim Southee inflicted damage to Sri Lanka's batting order before the second day of the second Test against New Zealand was called off due to rain.

After resuming on 85-2, Sri Lanka were ticking along nicely when captain Dimuth Karunaratne (65) brought up his fifty.

But New Zealand's seamers soon came into play – Boult (2-33) claiming his 250th Test wicket as Angelo Mathews edged a pull through to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

Boult moved on to 251 four balls later, with Kusal Perera misreading a delivery that nipped straight back into his pads, departing without scoring to leave Sri Lanka 93-4.

Karunaratne steadied the ship, while Dhananjaya de Silva (31 not out) had a lucky escape when Boult's day took a turn for the worse.

The Black Caps bowler waved away other fielders after De Silva looped an edge high into the air, only for Boult to drop what should have been a simple catch.

Sri Lanka's captain was the next to go, however, as Southee (2-40) drew Karunaratne into a sloppy drive and Watling pouched the edge.

Not to be outdone by Boult, Southee bettered his team-mate's earlier feat, Niroshan Dickwella giving Watling another catch three balls later.

Dilruwan Perera and De Silva managed to hold firm until lunch, with the rains that plagued day one returning during the break, ending play for the day with Sri Lanka on 144-6.

Black Caps star Trent Boult said "sorry for letting everyone down" following New Zealand's heartbreaking loss to England in the Cricket World Cup final.

New Zealand were agonisingly denied by England in a dramatic decider at Lord's on Sunday – the World Cup hosts prevailing due to their superior boundary count after a Super Over.

Both New Zealand and England made 241 from 50 overs and 15 in the subsequent Super Over shoot-out as the latter prevailed by the smallest of margins for their maiden World Cup title.

After arriving back in New Zealand on Thursday, paceman Boult told reporters: "It's been a long flight home but it [the defeat] probably hasn't sunk in yet.

"I wish it would, so we can all get over it but it's one of those things that we probably won't get over for a long time."

Boult added: "We've just been on a plane 15 hours and there were a lot of Kiwis saying 'we felt for you'. I didn't really know what to say.

"Obviously, we're all hurting and we're sorry for letting everyone down. I just want to get home, walk my dog along the beach and try to forget about it but it's gonna be a hard one to swallow for the next couple of years."

A Super Over was required at Lord's after an extraordinary moment of luck helped England during the closing stages of their run chase.

Ben Stokes inadvertently deflected the ball to the boundary rope, meaning England were sensationally awarded six runs as he raced back to complete a second run with nine needed from three balls

"It's natural to nitpick, to wonder about all those little things and how it could have been a totally different game," Boult said.

"I've been living that last over in my mind a lot – somehow I got hit for six along the ground which has never happened before. To see the scores level [after the Super Over] and still lose, yeah, that was a pretty unique situation."

Boult was involved in a heartbreaking moment of his own after taking a catch off England all-rounder Stokes, only to step on the boundary rope and concede six runs.

"The priority in that situation is on the ball itself, so that was all I was worried about. It was silly of me not to know where the rope was. It was similar to the catch against the West Indies earlier in the tournament but they're quite quirky boundaries over there [at Lord's]. They're not circles, they're kind of octagons and squares and all sorts of things.

"You can imagine the feeling when my left shoe hit the cushion and it was too late to throw the ball to Marty [Guptill]. There were probably 27,000 intoxicated Poms in there screaming as the ball went up, so I couldn't hear anything Marty was saying."

The closing stages of England's remarkable Cricket World Cup final victory over New Zealand provided drama by the bucketload, with the hosts eventually prevailing following a Super Over at Lord's.

After New Zealand had posted 241-8, the final overs of England's chase could hardly have been more thrilling, and it turned out that was just the start.

We look back on how the drama unfolded as an astonishing final was won by the narrowest of margins, England prevailing due to the fact they scored more boundaries than the Black Caps.

 

STOKES SURVIVES MAJOR SCARE

Ben Stokes underpinned England's pursuit of 242, but the hosts were in big trouble after Jos Buttler's dismissal for 59 ended a fifth-wicket stand of 110.

When Liam Plunkett holed out to long-off in the 49th over, England needed 22 runs off nine deliveries.

Stokes then picked out Trent Boult on the long-on boundary from Jimmy Neesham's next ball, but the fielder could not avoid stepping over the rope while he still had the ball in his hands, meaning a crucial six runs were added to the home total.

 

IF YOU THOUGHT THAT SIX WAS UNUSUAL

A target of 15 from the final over became much tougher when Stokes failed to score from successive Boult deliveries.

England's key man thumped a maximum over midwicket to keep the chase alive, but no one could have possibly imagined what was to happen next.

As he came back for a tight second run to midwicket, Stokes dived and inadvertently deflected the ball - thrown in by Martin Guptill - to the boundary. The end result was one of the most unusual sixes you are ever likely to see and suddenly England needed just three from two deliveries.

 

NO WINNER AFTER 100 OVERS

To his credit, Boult responded superbly, and a fine yorker limited Stokes to a single from the penultimate delivery, with Adil Rashid run out at the non-striker's end as he chased a second that was never there to keep his partner on strike.

Stokes then played the final ball somewhat cautiously and could again only manage one, with Mark Wood also run out to ensure a Super Over was needed to split the teams.

 

YET MORE MOMENTUM SWINGS IN ONE-OVER SHOOTOUT

After such a gripping contest, it was no surprise to see even more twists and turns in the eliminator.

Stokes and Buttler were chosen to lead the England charge and both batsmen hit boundaries off Trent Boult to help Eoin Morgan's men to a healthy total of 15.

That score looked set to be surpassed when Jofra Archer started with a wide and was then taken for 12 in four balls - including a monstrous six over midwicket - by Neesham.

Yet the next delivery brought only a single, putting Martin Guptill on strike for the deciding ball with New Zealand needing two.

 

ARCHER AND ROY COMBINE TO SEAL GLORY

In arguably the most dramatic scenes Lord's has ever played host to, Guptill swiped Archer's final ball towards the deep midwicket boundary, where Jason Roy was lurking.

Roy had been guilty of a fumble earlier in the over, but on this occasion, he was not found wanting.

An accurate throw from the deep enabled wicketkeeper Buttler to break the stumps with Guptill well short of his ground and England duly celebrated an incredible victory by virtue of their superior boundary count, with the scores tied once again.

 

Trent Boult says it was just a case of New Zealand's bowlers "keeping it simple" in the crucial opening spell that left India 5-3 in the Black Caps' 18-run Cricket World Cup semi-final triumph.

In a rain-affected contest that spanned two days at Old Trafford, 2015 finalists New Zealand booked their return to the showpiece despite only posting 239-8 with the bat.

Yet a 19-ball passage from Boult and Matt Henry swung the momentum firmly in the Black Caps' favour as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul all departed for singles.

Henry accounted for Rohit, who had scored five centuries and has more runs than anyone at this World Cup, and his opening partner Rahul, while Boult trapped Kohli lbw and later revealed there were no special plans behind the electric start that led to India being dismissed for 221.

"It wasn't planned, I don't want it to sound like I'm a magician against the best player in the world," Boult said of removing the ICC's top-ranked ODI batsman Kohli.

"We know if we can get sides two or three down inside that first 10 [overs], and put pressure on the middle order, of course it's going to be challenging for anyone.

"We didn't really try too much, in my opinion, it was just about keeping it simple.

"It was nice to put a bit of pressure on those guys but I thought they absorbed it very nicely."

Dinesh Karthik's dismissal meant India were four down by the end of the powerplay and though Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50) gave India a fighting chance, the chase got away from them.

India captain Kohli pointed to the shocking start to their reply as being pivotal in the match, with Henry (3-37) enjoying some Old Trafford redemption after returning 1-76 in an expensive nine-over spell against West Indies in the group stage.

"Coming into the semi-final, we talked about it a lot, it doesn't matter what happened in the past," Henry added.

"We knew if we got to 240 we were confident we could defend that if we bowl well.

"I don't think we were expecting the start we got but taking those early wickets meant we could really put some pressure on and squeeze the run-rate."

India's top order was blown away by New Zealand seamers Matt Henry and Trent Boult at Old Trafford to leave Virat Kohli's side reeling at 24-4 in pursuit of a victory target of 240 in the first Cricket World Cup semi-final.

The Black Caps resumed their innings on Wednesday, with rain having halted their progress after 46.1 overs on Tuesday, and they reached 239-8, a total that looked below par against an India side with such an explosive batting line-up.

However, the momentum had shifted firmly in New Zealand's favour after the opening 19 deliveries of the reply. Rohit Sharma, Kohli and KL Rahul were all sent back having scored just a single run each, before Dinesh Karthik (6) fell from the final ball of the powerplay.

Rohit, the competition's leading run scorer who had amassed three straight centuries and five in total heading into this contest, feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Tom Latham off Henry.

Kohli was the next to depart, unsuccessfully reviewing Boult's lbw shout as replays showed the ball would have gone on to clip the top of the bails, with Rahul also nicking behind to complete a remarkable early passage.

Rishabh Pant and Karthik were given the task of rebuilding the innings, but the latter was removed by a superb one-handed take from Jimmy Neesham at backward point to give Henry a third wicket of a remarkable start.

Trent Boult's historic hat-trick was in vain as Mitchell Starc starred again at Lord's in Australia's 86-run Cricket World Cup thrashing of trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on Saturday.

The Black Caps would have joined Australia in the last four with a win in London, but they could now face a win-or-bust encounter with England in their final group match at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday.

Boult (4-51) became the first New Zealand player to take a World Cup hat-trick, restricting Australia to 243-9 after Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bat on a testing surface in a repeat of the 2015 final.

Usman Khawaja (88) and Alex Carey (71) ensured the holders gave their bowlers something to defend, with Lockie Ferguson and Jimmy Neesham taking two wickets apiece on a glorious afternoon.

Kane Williamson became the third-fastest to 6,000 ODI runs and top-scored with 40, but New Zealand collapsed to 157 all out in the day-night contest to suffer a second defeat of the tournament.

The brilliant Starc (5-26) claimed his seventh five-wicket ODI haul and Jason Behrendorff (2-31) also did damage as Australia - already assured of a semi-final spot - moved three points clear of India at the top of the table.

New Zealand lead England, down to fifth after Pakistan's win over Afghanistan, by three points and the hosts have a game in hand against India at Edgbaston on Sunday.

GUPTILL MAKES AMENDS WITH SCREAMER

Martin Guptill has two of the safest hands in the game, but the opener put down a tough one-handed catch to get rid of the in-form Finch before Australia were off the mark.

That did not prove to be costly, as Boult snared the in-form captain for only eight, but Guptill also put Khawaja down on nought at second slip.

Guptill made partial amends with a spectacular one-handed diving grab for Ferguson - who got David Warner with a rapid short ball - to remove Steve Smith for only five at leg gully. Neesham also pulled off a pearler of a catch to dismiss Glenn Maxwell, putting Australia deeper in the mire on 92-5.

 

BOULT FROM THE BLUE

Khawaja and Carey came to the rescue with a stand of 107, the wicketkeeper-batsman the aggressor, hitting 11 fours, as his fellow left-hander batted with great application, sweeping expertly and rotating the strike well.

Part-time bowler Williamson ended the partnership, Guptill taking another catch to see the back of Carey, but Khawaja hung around before Boult's magical final over.

The left-armer quick yorked Khawaja and Mitchell Starc - giving his fellow paceman a taste of his own medicine with a peach of a delivery - and made history by trapping Jason Behrendorff for a magnificent hat-trick.

 

STARC SPARKLES, SMITH STRIKES AS BLACK CAPS FOLD

Paceman Starc led the way with 4-43 in Australia's defeat of England on Tuesday and the tournament's leading wicket-taker excelled again on the same ground.

New Zealand never really got going and folded after Williamson (40) and Ross Taylor (30) departed, Starc seeing the back of the skipper as well as Tom Latham - to an outstanding catch from Smith - and Ish Sodhi.

Starc was on a hat-trick when he cleaned up Ferguson and although Boult kept it out, New Zealand were put out of their misery when the hostile fast bowler dismissed Mitchell Santner.

Behrendorff earlier had Guptill leg before for only 20 and Henry Nicholls caught behind, while Smith had Colin de Grandhomme caught first ball in the deep on a grim evening for New Zealand.

Trent Boult claimed the second hat-trick at this year's Cricket World Cup as New Zealand restricted Australia to 243-9 at Lord's.

The Kiwi left-armer ended Usman Khawaja's defiant knock of 88 with a brilliant yorker that crashed into the stumps, then repeated the trick to clean up new batsman Mitchell Starc during the final over of the innings.

Jason Behrendorff became the third wicket to fall in as many deliveries, a review failing to save the tailender after he was given out lbw when struck in front of his stumps by another full ball.

Boult's hat-trick was his second in ODI cricket. India's Mohammed Shami is the other bowler to have achieved the feat during this tournament, against Afghanistan at the Rose Bowl.

The dramatic finish came after Australia had fought back impressively, the reigning champions rocked by one-two combinations delivered by Jimmy Neesham and Lockie Ferguson as they slipped to 92-5 in a repeat of the 2015 final.

Boult had struck the first blow for the Black Caps, trapping Aaron Finch lbw for eight, while Ferguson dismissed both David Warner (16) and Steve Smith (5) with sharp short balls, the latter superbly caught by a diving Martin Guptill at backward square-leg.

Neesham matched his team-mate's acrobatic grab by diving forward to claim a caught-and-bowled chance from Glenn Maxwell having already dismissed Marcus Stoinis, raising the genuine prospect of Australia being bowled out inside their 50 overs.

However, a 107-run stand between Khawaja and Alex Carey – who made a career-best 71 – rescued Australia, who are already through to the semi-finals.

Victory for New Zealand would secure their place in the last four.

South Africa will hope history fails to repeat itself when they bid to keep their Cricket World Cup hopes alive on Wednesday against New Zealand at Edgbaston.

With just one win from their opening five matches, the Proteas know anything but a victory will all but end their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

There is no shortage of recent history between the sides in this competition, with the Black Caps having dramatically reached their first World Cup final four years ago at South Africa's expense courtesy of Grant Elliott's six off the penultimate ball.

They also defeated the Proteas at the quarter-final stage in 2011.

South Africa will at least be buoyed by the return of bowler Lungi Ngidi and an improved display in their previous outing - a rampant nine-wicket triumph over Afghanistan - provided a much-needed confidence boost.

That said, a far bigger challenge will be presented by New Zealand, whose attack has been in scintillating form so far this tournament with Mitchell Santner (3.83), Lockie Ferguson (3.88) and Trent Boult (4.20) all among the leading bowlers in terms of economy.

With seven points already, the Black Caps are well positioned for a top-four finish and a place in the knockout stages, though they do still have to face a number of the tournament's leading lights.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

The pressure is on for South Africa. There is scant margin for error as far as their semi-final hopes are concerned. Defeats to England, Bangladesh and India in their opening three matches followed by the abandonment of their game against West Indies has left them with it all to do. There were at least positive signs in their win over Afghanistan.

New Zealand, by contrast, have made a hugely promising start, winning their opening three matches against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before seeing their last outing, against India, abandoned due to the inclement weather. 

WHAT THEY SAID

South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock: "I think, obviously, it's a big game for us, but in saying that, our next three or four games that we have, they're all going to be big games anyway for us for the rest of the tournament. We're just going to have to go out there, keep our heads steady, and play freely."

New Zealand bowler Trent Boult on the chance to potentially knock out South Africa: "It's not driving us in any respect. Every World Cup game, in my opinion, is a big stage, and it's a chance for us to go out there and perform and show we can bring the game and the style that we play back home in New Zealand very well to test it against quality players in foreign conditions on a big stage in front of all these fancy cameras. So we can't wait."

OPTA FACTS

- This will be the eighth World Cup meeting between New Zealand and South Africa, the Black Caps have won five of the previous seven, including each of the last four.

- New Zealand have not won an ODI at Edgbaston since 1983, losing three times there with four no results. They do have three World Cup wins at the venue (two in 1983, one in 1975).

- South Africa spinner Imran Tahir has bowled 222 balls at this World Cup and is yet to be hit for six or bowl a wide or no ball, no other bowler has bowled as many deliveries without being hit for a maximum.

- New Zealand have won 11 of their last 12 completed World Cup matches, their only defeat in that run was the 2015 final to Australia at the MCG.

New Zealand humbled Bangladesh by an innings and 12 runs in a rain-affected second Test to claim the three-match series.

The Black Caps needed just a little over two days to beat Bangladesh, who were skilled for 209 before lunch in Wellington on Tuesday.

Rain washed out the opening two days of play at Basin Reserve, but New Zealand still managed to crush the tourists – locking in second spot in the ICC Test rankings.

Resuming on 80-3 after the Kiwis reached 432-6 before declaring with a 221-run first-innings lead, Bangladesh had no answer to Neil Wagner (5-45) and Trent Boult (4-52).

Soumya Sarkar (28) was the first wicket to fall when he edged a Boult delivery through to Ross Taylor and Mohammad Mithun (47) followed within 10 overs after falling victim to Wagner.

Liton Das' (1) stay at the crease was brief as he was sent back to the pavilion by the red-hot Wagner, who then dismissed Taijul Islam for a duck.

Mustafizur Rahman (16) was bowled by Boult before Wagner cleaned up Mahmudullah Riyad (67) and Ebadat Hossain (0) to seal a rout for New Zealand, who could be without captain Kane Williamson for the third Test after an MRI confirmed a grade one tear to his left pectoral minor muscle.

Centuries from Mahmudullah Riyad and Soumya Sarkar could not prevent Bangladesh falling to defeat by an innings and 52 runs on Sunday, as New Zealand took a 1-0 lead in the Test series.

The Black Caps gained total control of the opening match in Hamilton after Kane Williamson's double century of 200 not out allowed the hosts to post a mammoth 715-6 declared in their first innings.

Having been bowled out for 234 batting first, the tourists faced a tough task attempting to delay the inevitable at Seddon Park, where they resumed on 174-4 early on day four.

Sarkar and Mahmudullah built impressively on their overnight scores of 39 and 15 respectively, the former playing freely to reach 149 from just 171 deliveries, an uninhibited knock that included 21 fours and five sixes.

Having put on 235 runs for the fifth wicket alongside the captain, he was eventually dislodged by Trent Boult (5-123) with the second new ball, Sarkar attempting to play a flick across the line and missing, the ball clipping back pad and dislodging off stump. 

Liton Das (1), Mehidy Hasan Miraz (1) and Abu Jayed (3), the latter providing Boult with his five-for, failed to offer an effective foil for Mahmudullah, who nevertheless survived to reach 146, before Tim Southee (3-98) intervened.

An attempt by the Tigers' skippers to thread a shot between point and third man proved too high, and was taken by Boult at deep point. Mahmudullah, though, could be proud of his highest Test score, with hooked sixes off Neil Wagner and two back-foot drives through cover, the latter coming at the expense of Boult, particularly easy on the eye. 

The captain gone, Bangladesh's entertaining resistance ended with a whimper on 429 all out when Ebadat Hossain went for a duck, caught behind edging Southee to BJ Watling, who passed Adam Parore as the New Zealand wicketkeeper with the most dismissals to his name. 

The hosts will have an opportunity to seal the series when the second Test starts in Wellington on Friday, followed by the third and final match in Christchurch later this month. 

New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult and Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah have been fined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over separate incidents during the second ODI in Christchurch on Saturday. 

Boult lost 15 per cent of his match fee for twice using "audible obscene words" when the Black Caps were bowling. 

Mahmudullah, meanwhile, has been fined 10 per cent for striking a picket fence with his bat at Hagley Oval following his dismissal. 

In addition, the duo each receive one demerit point apiece - a first offence for both men. 

New Zealand won the game by eight wickets to wrap up the series ahead of the final instalment in Dunedin on Wednesday.

The fit-again Mitchell Santner has been recalled to New Zealand's squad for the one-off Twenty20 against Sri Lanka on January 11, while Tim Southee will captain the side as Kane Williamson is rested.

Santner endured a lengthy lay-off after undergoing knee surgery in March, but the spin-bowling all-rounder returned to domestic action for Northern Knights last month.

Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen said: "We're delighted to welcome Mitchell back into the Black Caps environment and he's shown in his performances for the Knights in the BK Super Smash [New Zealand's Twenty20 competition] that he's ready for international cricket again."

In addition to Williamson, New Zealand have also rested Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme.

Seamer Scott Kuggeleijn earns a maiden T20 call-up as a result, while there are also places for Jimmy Neesham - who hit five sixes in an over on his return to the ODI team on Thursday - and Henry Nicholls.

Larsen added: "It's nice to have the luxury of freshening-up a few of our key guys following a long tour of the UAE and a fast transition into the home summer.

"That presents a great opportunity for the likes of Henry, Scott and Jimmy - who have all been performing strongly for their respective teams recently and deserve their chances should they come."

Batting coach Craig McMillan will be in charge for the fixture as Gary Stead takes a short break ahead of New Zealand's series against India.

Trent Boult claimed two wickets to finish with nine in the match as New Zealand quickly knocked over Sri Lanka's tail on day five to wrap up the second Test.

The Black Caps required just 14 deliveries to complete the job on an overcast morning in Christchurch, with the victory also handing them the two-match series following a draw in Wellington last week.

Sri Lanka resumed on 231-6 but Suranga Lakmal (18) managed to survive only two deliveries before he was bowled by Boult, who had claimed 6-30 in Sri Lanka's first innings.

Neil Wagner utilised the short ball to see off Dilruwan Perera for 22 in the following over, a poorly judged attempt at the pull shot only providing home skipper Kane Williamson with some catching practice at square leg.

Fittingly it was Boult who struck the final blow, the left-arm paceman trapping last man Dushmantha Chameera lbw for a duck to finish with impressive match figures of 9-107.

With Angelo Mathews unable to resume his innings due to a hamstring injury, the former captain had retired hurt on 22 at tea on the fourth day, Sri Lanka finished on 236 to lose by the mammoth margin of 423 runs.

New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen paid tribute to the seam attack as the Black Caps grafted their way towards a series win over Sri Lanka.

On an increasingly docile Christchurch pitch, the home side reduced the tourists to 231-6 by stumps on day four of the second Test having set Sri Lanka an all-but impossible 660 to win.

Neil Wagner did the bulk of the damage on Saturday, taking three of the four wickets to fall as the hosts were held up by half-centuries from Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis.

Angelo Mathews retiring hurt with a hamstring problem means New Zealand may only need three wickets to secure a 1-0 series victory on day five, and Jurgensen was quick to laud the pace bowlers for their collective efforts.

"It's awesome, because I think the bowlers actually bounce off each other," he said. "They all get on with each other - they're really good mates.

"You've got the two left-handers in Neil and Trent Boult, and then you've got Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme, when there's a bit more on offer in terms of seam and swing.

"You've got those four guys - two lefties and two righties. Neil's ability to bowl those bouncers, it just adds another string in the bow for the group.

"One of the big things with our bowling is we want to bowl in partnerships and put pressure on from both ends. I think that's what we did in the first innings and that's we needed all our bowlers to do in the second.

"I think that [fitness] is what I've been really impressed with our bowling group - it's our fifth Test in six and a half or seven weeks, and it's a testament to their fitness during the winter, how hard they've worked, to still keep trucking in.

"Neil just provides that extra punch that we need, particularly at the back end of the game, and you saw another example of that today. He's been doing it for a while now for us."

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