South Africa's World Cup challenge has been left in tatters after an inspired bowling and fielding display saw New Zealand progress to the semi-finals in Mirpur.
Daniel Vettori's Black Caps defied the pre-match predictions to claim a 49-run triumph, reaching the last four of the one-day showpiece for the fifth time as a result.
New Zealand's total of 221-8, held together by Jesse Ryder's 83 off 121 balls, looked competitive, however it proved to be much more than that as South Africa succumbed to the pressure playing at this stage of the competition brings.
Seemingly cruising on 108-2, the Proteas pressed the self-destruct button, losing Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy and AB de Villiers in quick succession as Jacob Oram ran through the middle order to finish with figures of 4-39.
New Zealand will now face either Sri Lanka or England for a place in the final in Colombo on March 29.
South Africa were on the receiving end of a huge stroke of misfortune when opener Hashim Amla fell in freak circumstances in the first over of the run chase.
Looking to chop off-spinner Nathan McCullum through point, Amla could only look back in horror as the ball bounced up off wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum's boot and lobbed up to Martin Guptill at slip.
Captain Graeme Smith and stalwart Kallis put the chase back on course, the former speeding along to 28 from 34 balls before Oram struck the first of four decisive blows in the innings.
He lured the left-hander into a loose drive outside off stump, and Smith only succeeded in slicing the ball to substitute fielder Jamie How who caught well at backward point.
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 from the moment Kallis picked out Oram on the midwicket boundary from a Tim Southee long-hop, South Africa began to implode.
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.
Oram then delivered a perfectly pitched leg-cutter to clean bowl Johan Botha and South Africa hopes rested solely on Du Plessis with plenty of runs and very few wickets remaining.
But when he became the ninth wicket to fall for 36 - again to Oram - the game was up and New Zealand sealed victory the following over when World Cup debutant Luke Woodcock spun out Morne Morkel.
Having won the toss at the start of 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.
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, but the Black Caps still managed 57 in their last 10 overs thanks to Kane Williamson's fighting 38.
New Zealand were pegged back twice in the early exchanges - Brendon McCullum departed for four and Guptill could only score one in 24 balls - but Ryder and Taylor aided the recovery process well.
South Africa's profitable start did enable them to slow the run-rate, with Ryder and Taylor taking 27 overs for their third-wicket stand, and Tahir at last gave the Proteas some respite when Taylor holed out to deep mid-wicket.
Scott Styris could only add 16 off 17 balls before being bowled by Morkel and Tahir again claimed a big wicket as Ryder's slog sweep only found substitute Peter Ingram.
Williamson's innings of 38 off 41 deliveries helped New Zealand pass 200 - even as Nathan McCullum, Oram and skipper Vettori fell for single figures - and avoid a total collapse.