Sri Lanka crumble in Colombo

New Zealand are closing in on a first Test match victory in Sri Lanka since 1998 after a flurry of late wickets in the final session on day four of the second Test.

Pace bowlers Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell both struck twice to leave the hosts reeling on 47-4 in pursuit of a world record 363-run target.

The daunting target was set thanks to another vital contribution from New Zealand captain Ross Taylor, who made 74 as his side posted 194-9 declared in their second innings.

With time already lost in the match due to a mixture of bad light and rain, the Black Caps wee keen to give themselves as much time as possible to bowl Sri Lanka out for a second time.

And they made the perfect start, with Southee trapping Sri Lanka opener Tharanga Paranavitana lbw with the very first ball of the run-chase.

Southee then made Tillakaratne Dilshan his seventh victim of the match when he edged through to More van Wyk, leaving the home side tottering on 35-2 with light beginning to fade.

All hopes of a Sri Lanka revival once again looked to rest on stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, however both fell to Bracewell before a premature close of play was called to leave the Black Caps firmly in command.

Sangakkara made just 16 before he was bowled off his thigh pad in rather unfortunate circumstances, while Jawaywardene has stuttered to just five before edging Bracewell behind the wickets 10 deliveries before stumps.