NZ eye win as Wagner rocks Lanka

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: New Zealand were eyeing an historic victory as injury and a barrage of Neil Wagner bouncers left Sri Lanka in tatters at the close of day four of the second Test in Christchurch on Saturday.
The conditions were tailor-made for short-ball specialist Wagner, New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said, as Sri Lanka were 231 for six at stumps.
At most they have only four wickets left, but with doubt whether the injured Angelo Mathews will return to help them survive the final day.
At the crease were Dilruwan Perera on 22 and Suranga Lakmal on 16 with their 660-run target out of sight.
Wagner, who had little success earlier in the series, broke through stubborn Sri Lankan resistance, with figures of three for 47 from a marathon 28 overs.
“I think he showed what he could do once he had a little bit more bounce on offer. I thought he bowled with really good pace and really questioned the Sri Lankan batsmen,” Jurgensen said.
“I was commenting in our viewing area saying I think this day is set up for Neil. “He was really licking his lips today to have a good crack and he certainly had that.”
After rain ensured a drawn first Test in Wellington, a win in the Christchurch decider would give New Zealand a fourth consecutive series win for the first time after beating the West Indies, England and Pakistan earlier this year.
Despite losing both openers in the first two overs of their second innings, Sri Lanka fought to stay in the game until Wagner came into the frame.
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis produced stubborn resistance for 53 overs for the third wicket before Mendis went for 67.
— AFP