BLACKCAPS through to the semis

The BLACKCAPS ensured South Africa will keep their tag for at least another four years after a brilliant bowling performance led them to a 49-run victory in their quarterfinal at the cricket World Cup in Dhaka this morning.

The win ensured the BLACKCAPS will face either England or Sri Lanka in Tuesday's semi-final depending on the result of their match tonight (NZT).

The heavily favoured South African team looked to be cruising to victory at 121 for three before the wheels fell off their chase through a series of poor shots, bad running and good bowling from New Zealand.

The BLACKCAPS earlier worked hard for to what looked to be a below-par score of 221 for eight after a solid partnership of 114 between Jesse Ryder (83) and Ross Taylor (43) as South Africa tormented the Black Caps with a mixture of spin and extreme pace.

In the end the total proved too much for South Africa who were all out for 172 in the 44th over after a brilliant bowling performance led by Jacob Oram.

Oram, who complemented his man-of-the-match performance with the ball on a slow and low track by taking a brilliant running catch to dismiss Jacques Kallis near the boundary, bowled with superb control to finish with figures of four for 39.

He was ably supported by Nathan McCullum who took three for 24 and a typically miserly Daniel Vettori who went for 39 off his 10 wicketless overs.

Oram down played his role in the New Zealand victory after the match but said the side now has the belief to win the cricket World Cup.

"I don't want to take credit for the win, but I suppose Kallis' dismissal was the turning point of the match," Oram said.

"We believe we can go all the way now," he said.

New Zealand had earlier failed to take advantage of a 114-run partnership between Ryder and Taylor as the pair took New Zealand to 130 for 2 from the precarious position of 16 for two.

Batting under the pressure of early wickets Ryder saw off the initial danger hitting his maiden cricket World Cup half-century as New Zealand struggled to 221 for eight from their 50 overs.

The burly left-hander was finally out for 83 from 121 balls trying to loft leg-spinner Imran Tahir over the leg-side boundary.

Ryder added 114 runs with a scratchy vice-captain Taylor, who scored 43 from 72 balls.

A score of up to 270 seemed possible at 130 for two, however after Taylor holed out to Kallis off the bowling of Tahir trying to up the pace, New Zealand struggled to gain any momentum with South Africa taking wickets at regular intervals.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith rotated the bowlers, who were backed up with a superb fielding display, and Dale Steyn showed why many believe he is the best pace bowler in the world mixing up his length and pace to perfection, finishing with figures of two for 42.

New Zealand then experimented by opening with spin at both ends and in a stroke of luck had Hashim Amla caught at slip in the first over after the ball bounced off the boot of wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off the bowling of his brother Nathan McCullum.

After a 61-run partnership between Smith and Kallis New Zealand stayed in the match by taking the wicket of Smith, who was caught after flailing at a wide delivery from Oram, and then Kallis who was brilliantly caught by Oram on the boundary off Tim Southee.

South Africa still looked to be cruising towards victory, but the loss of two quick wickets while the score was on 121 put New Zealand back in the game as Jean-Paul Duminy slashed at a McCullum delivery only to bowled and later in the same over new batsman Faf du Plessis ran out the established AB de Villiers.

After a confrontation between Kyle Mills, who was running the drinks, and du Plessis New Zealand then finished off the innings.

Oram taking the wicket of the dangerous du Plessis before Luke Woodcock took his first cricket World Cup wicket, Morne Morkel, to dismiss South Africa for 172 and complete an unlikely win.

After the match Smith said his side failed to take advantage of a good bowling performance.

"We just have to take it on the chin. It was a very disappointing evening. I thought we bowled pretty well and at 100 for 2, we were sitting well, and then we lost too many wickets," Smith said.

"There are no words to describe how I feel," he said.

Vettori praised his team's spirit in the field.

"Every single bowler stepped up today, and probably it was the fielding that got us through."

"Once we got 220, we knew we had to be aggressive. We knew it was a tricky wicket and it was going to be an old-school one-day game."


Homepage image - Getty/ICC

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