Sri Lanka 104 (Boult 6-30, Southee 3-33) and 24 for 2 need 636 more to beat New Zealand 178 (Southee 68, Lakmal 5-54, Kumara 3-49) and 585 for 4 dec (Latham 176, Nicholls 162*, de Grandhomme 71*)
Christchurch: Tom Latham produced another masterful innings of patience and concentration as New Zealand turned the screw on Sri Lanka on the third day of the second test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Friday.
The 26-year-old left-handed opener was dismissed for 176 in the final over before tea, having batted for more than 9 hours, faced 370 balls and guided his side to a second-innings lead in excess of 500.
Captain Kane Williamson proclaimed the second innings around a hour after the interim on 585 for four, leaving the guests expecting to score a world record 660 to win the match and two-test arrangement 1-0 after the primary test finished in a soggy draw.
Sri Lanka's triumph target was made even more troublesome when opening batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne on duck and Danushka Gunathilaka (4) were rejected in the initial two overs.
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who was on 14, and Kusal Mendis (6) oversaw them to 24-2 at stumps and expecting to score another 636 races to win the match and arrangement or bat two further days to spare both.
The hosts' solid position was demonstration of Latham, who commanded their second innings, in spite of a fourth test century from Henry Nicholls (162 not out) and New Zealand's quickest test 50 years from 28 balls by Colin de Grandhomme (71 not out) as they pursued snappy pursues tea.
Latham likewise scored a vocation best 264 not out in New Zealand's solitary innings in the main test in Wellington, batting for over 11 hours and confronting 489 conveyances.
Latham and Nicholls put on 214 for the fourth wicket with Latham accomplishing his eighth century and Nicholls his fourth.