Sri Lanka 104 (Boult 6-30, Southee 3-33) and 231 for 6 (Mendis 67, Chandimal 56, Wagner 3-47) need 429 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: Sri Lanka's middle-order showed some resistance in an improbable chase of 660, but the hosts' bowlers made timely inroads to keep their team well ahead in the game.
Pitch conditions were fantastic and Sri Lanka's batsmen displayed grit, but a relentless bowling effort, spearheaded by Neil Wagner, ensured that New Zealand went to stumps with sights trained firmly on a 1-0 series victory.
Sri Lanka were 231/6 at stumps, a mammoth 429 runs away from the target.
Resuming the day at 24/2, Sri Lanka showed plenty of resistance for most part. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis buckled in to add 102 runs together on Saturday, 29 December.
It took a shocking catch at additional cover by Matt Henry off Wagner's knocking down some pins to end Mendis' resistance for 67 after he played an uncommon indiscreet float.
Despite the fact that the pitch didn't have much by method for skip or crease development, Wagner played with normally unwavering soul, and figured out how to cause a few inconveniences for batsmen with his back-of-length conveyances.
However, Angelo Mathews and Chandimal looked set for another huge organization. Mathews, who alongside Mendis, had helped fight off annihilation at Wellington, would've wanted to deliver another enormous thump of that nature. His expectations were impeded by inconvenience in the hamstring locale which constrained him to resign hurt soon after tea.
Chandimal's central spotlight was on playing out conveyances and he had only slithered past fifty at a strike rate of under 25. His 228-ball vigil was finished by a furious Wagner short ball which he fumblingly fought for a straightforward catch at short leg.
Not at all like Chandimal, Dickwella was quick to likewise play his shots. Be that as it may, the methodology didn't satisfy on the day – he slashed one onto the stumps when he hoped to play a blasting drive off a wide Tim Southee conveyance to succumb to 19.
Wagner set Silva up with a couple of short balls and after that knocked down some pins a decent length one, which Silva – got in the wrinkle – scratched behind for 18. Suranga Lakmal and Dilruwan Perera then guided Sri Lanka to stumps, the previous playing a couple of engaging strokes as well.
It surely was certainly not a terrible day for Sri Lanka with the bat, however New Zealand will need to make due with absolutely a triumph on the last day.