Jurgensen hails bowling effort as Black Caps close in on victory

New Zealand is four wickets away from a series win over Sri Lanka and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen was content with the team's efforts.

Neil Wagner celebrates a wicket on day four in Christchurch   -  Getty Images

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 tourist 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 host was 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.

Bowling well in partnerships

"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."