The tourists trailed by 10 runs with five wickets in hand at the start of Monday's play at Hagley Oval, and despite the tail wagging them to a 104-run lead, Sri Lanka were ultimately humbled.

New Zealand quick Tim Southee snared the first three wickets of the day - including the important scalp of Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews for 66 - to consolidate the hosts' advantage and finish the innings with 4-91.

Southee had a hand in all of the home side's five wickets for the day, taking catches off Trent Boult (4-100) and Mark Craig (1-83) as New Zealand eventually cleaned up the tail but not before a half-century 10th-wicket stand.

Shaminda Eranga performed admirably for the losers, making an unbeaten 45 batting at 10 - and building a 59-run partnership for the final wicket with Suranga Lakmal (16).

They were handy runs to set the Kiwis but they only prolonged the inevitable - although Eranga and off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal both struck as the Sri Lankans played out the contest.

Tom Latham (17) edged a Kaushal delivery to Mathews at first slip, before speedster Eranga got one to rise on Latham's fellow opener Hamish Rutherford (10), who spooned a simple catch to Niroshan Dickwella.

At 43-2, Kane Williamson (31) and Ross Taylor (39) steadied New Zealand's ship to steer Brendon McCullum's men to victory inside four days.

The second and final Test of the series begins in Wellington on Saturday.