New Delhi: At 108 for two, with South African stalwarts Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers at the crease, the chances of Proteas choking once again in a knockout encounter of a big stage looked bleak. But four wickets and a blinder of a catch in the field by all-rounder Jacob Oram booked a sixth semifinal appearance for the Kiwis in a World Cup.
Graeme Smith and his boys failed to get the monkey off their back and slipped when they looked to have the 222-run chase in control, losing by 49 runs in the end.
Kallis lost his composure and played an extravagant pull off Tim Southee over the mid-wicket and from there on, we witnessed magical work by Oram who timed his run to perfection to take a stunner.
Man-of-the-Match Oram capped it up with a four-wicket haul but not before a moment of madness saw South Africa lose their last hope de Villiers to a silly run-out.
De Villiers was the victim of some insensible running by young Faf du Plessis, who called his senior pro for a suicidal run, especially as the ball went to Martin Guptill, who fielded like a tiger throughtout the match.
The departure of the two batsmen gave New Zealand a sniff to claw their way back in the game after putting a below-par 221 on the board. The Proteas' batsmen buckled under pressure and their wickets fell like ninepins.
And the South African hopes of making it to the semi-final crashed when their last man Morne Morkel holed out at the long-off boundary, where substitute Jamie How pocketed a simple catch.
The Graeme Smith-led side couldn't even play their full 50 overs and were bundled out for just 172, but it was Oram who turned it around for Kiwis.