The White Ferns have been dumped out of the Twenty20 World Cup, after South Africa won their final group match to book the last spot in the semi-finals.
New Zealand needed Bangladesh to beat the hosts, if they were to qualify for the knockout stages, but the Lady Tigers fell to a 10-wicket defeat.
The Ferns finished even with South Africa on four points from the group stage, but their inferior net runrate leaves them stranded in third place.
Their stunning 65-run defeat against the hosts earlier in the tournament ultimately proved the difference, as South Africa advance to play England in the semis.
For much of South Africa’s match against Bangladesh, an upset seemed on the cards and New Zealand were a chance.
Bangladesh won the toss and chose to bat on a slow pitch, posting a tricky 114 to win, with captain Nigar Sultana scoring 30 runs to lead the charge.
South African openers Laura Wolvaardt and Taszmin Brits initially struggled to get the Bangladeshi bowlers away in their chase, with even singles proving tough to score.
Brits survived a dropped catch and two missed stumpings, as the required runrate continued to climb, reaching nearly eight an over at one point, but with wickets in hand, the pair put the foot down, with a Brits boundary in the 10th over breaking the shackles.
Wolvaard followed suit with a couple of lusty blows, as both reached half-centuries to take South Africa across the line and break New Zealand hearts.
Earlier, White Ferns allrounder Amelia Kerr spoke about the nervy wait, but was pleased with her team’s ability to bounce back from their opening pool defeats to champions Australia and South Africa.
“In tournament play, after those first two games, you can get down, but it’s important to learn and move on, because there’s games just around the corner,” she said.
“It shows a lot of character from this group to be able to do that. It was about backing our skills and having that belief, and making subtle changes in the nets.
“It’s pleasing that we’ve been able to do that.”
The result was the second straight World Cup where New Zealand have failed to progress out of poolplay, after falling short at the one-day tournament on home soil last year.