Mirpur: After registering a magnificent 49 run win against Proteas, New Zealand Skipper Daniel Vettori on Friday praised his team for the all-round display.

MATCH: IN PICS

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SA CHOKE AGAIN, CRASH OUT OF WC

"Every single bowler stepped up, and probably it was the fielding that got us through. Martin Guptill was exceptional," Vettori said after the match.

Vettori said 250 would have been the ideal score on the wicket at the Shere Bangla Stadium here.

"Once we got 220, we knew we had to be aggressive. We were hanging in there even when Kallis and AB were going. We wanted 250 on this pitch. We lost some wickets, and scrapped through to 220.

"We knew it was a tricky wicket, and knew it was going to be an old-school one-day game. That's the sort of game we like to play. Once we got de Villiers and Kallis, we were back in it. The run out of de Villiers was an amazing piece of work. We are pretty happy to be in the semis, and will see how the wicket in Colombo plays tomorrow."

New Zealand will play the winner of England-Sri Lanka match in the semi-final.

New Zealand have played in three semifinals since the tournament's inception in 1975, and Vettori hoped the team will better that record.

"New Zealand have played in three semi-finals, and hopefully, we can take two steps further this time around," Vettori said.

Even as Vettori basked in his team's glory, his rival Graeme Smith was a shattered man.

"It's difficult to explain. There are no words to describe how I feel. Just have to take it on the chin. It's been a very disappointing evening," Smith said.

Smith was gracious in defeat and praised the Kiwis for their showings, but was disappointed that his team lost too many wickets after sitting pretty at one stage.

"I thought we bowled pretty well. Credit to Jesse Ryder. At 100 for 2, we were sitting well, and then we lost too many wickets. The stand between Jesse and Taylor kept them in good stead, but we kept them to 220, which is very gettable. We lost too many wickets."

"Your guess is as good as mine (referring to South Africa's penchant for losing in knockout stages) its been happening since 1992," he said.

Despite the shock exit, Smith said there have been a few positives from the tournament.

"We have got some big positives out of the World Cup. We weren't good enough tonight, but we have to take it forward and not get bogged down. There will be a new coach and new captain. We are disappointed with tonight, and nothing I say is going to change that for fans back home," Smith said.

New Zealand team

BB McCullum†, MJ Guptill, JD Ryder, LRPL Taylor, SB Styris, KS Williamson, NL McCullum, DL Vettori*, JDP Oram, TG Southee, LJ Woodcock

South Africa team
GC Smith*, HM Amla, JH Kallis, AB de Villiers†, JP Duminy, F du Plessis, J Botha, RJ Peterson, M Morkel, DW Steyn, Imran Tahir


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