New Zealand's 14-year drought without a Test triumph in Sri Lanka met its end on Thursday, when a 167-run win squared the two-match series one-all at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

Resuming on 47 for four overnight, the Sri Lankans' bid to force a draw rather than chase an unlikely 363-run target at least took the clash into its final session. While they had the length, they didn't enjoy the substance, with seamer Trent Boult's fitting removal of all-rounder Angelo Mathews sealing the Black Caps' historic success.

Mathews' defiant 84 was at the fore of the hosts' resistance, accruing 11 boundaries and a solitary six across his 228-delivery vigil. Little to no support around him, though, left the vice-captain's effort a futile one.

Sri Lanka had banked on a longer innings from the steady Thilan Samaraweera in the middle-order, only for a run-out to end his rearguard aspirations a mere seven runs into his stay.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Prasanna Jayawardene and number eight Suraj Randiv followed in relatively quick succession, while tail-ender Nuwan Kulasekara was able to offer momentary help to Mathews. The new ball, however, was quick to complete the damage, as Boult and fellow seamer Tim Southee finished with match hauls of seven and eight wickets respectively.

Fielder Kane Williamson, meanwhile, added three catches to the two he clinched in the first innings - a couple of them absolute blinders in a heavily-laden slip cordon.

For their triumph, Ross Taylor's men cherished what was last achieved by Stephen Fleming's troops at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in May 1998, appropriately by the exact same margin.