Mirpur: The ghost of the past again came back to haunt South Africa as they failed to capitalise on a good start and choked to a 49-run loss against New Zealand in the quarter-final of the World Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Friday.

An inspired bowling and fielding display saw New Zealand progress to the semi-finals in Mirpur as South Africa failed to win their knock-out stage matches since 1992.

Daniel Vettori's Black Caps defied the pre-match predictions to reach the last four of the one-day showpiece for the fifth time as a result.

Opting to bat first, Jesse Ryder hit 83 off 121 balls in New Zealand's total of 221-8. The total looked competitive but proved to be much more for South Africa, who succumbed to the pressure.

The Proteas were cruising at 108-2, but the sudden dismissal of Jacques Kallis, J P Duminy and AB de Villiers proved costly. Jacob Oram ran through the middle order to finish with figures of 4-39.

Kallis (47) and De Villiers (35) kept the scoreboard ticking along though and the Proteas were well above the required run rate on 108-2 at the start of the 25th over.

But after Oram picked out Kallis on the midwicket boundary from a Tim Southee long-hop South Africa began to crack. Duminy was clean bowled by Nathan McCullum (3-24) and Francois du Plessis ran out partner De Villiers as New Zealand turned the game on its head.

New Zealand will now face either Sri Lanka or England for a place in the final in Colombo on Mar 29.

Earlier in the day, Ryder and Ross Taylor (43 off 72) combined for a vital 114-run stand after some early wickets, but spinner Imran Tahir dismissed both to put South Africa back in the game.

Kane Williamson's innings of 38 off 41 deliveries helped New Zealand cross 200 - even as Nathan McCullum, Oram and skipper Vettori fell for single figures - and avoid a total collapse.

Morne Morkel finished with figures of 3-46 while Tahir and Dale Steyn gave away 32 and 42 runs respectively for their two wickets each.