Comeback kid Luke Pomersbach's unbeaten 112 helped steer Brisbane Heat to a 15-run upset victory over Melbourne Renegades in Tuesday's Big Bash League knockout semi-final at Etihad Stadium.
Scorecard: Renegades v Heat – Big Bash semi-final
The Heat compiled a formidable total of 3-183 before paceman Ben Cutting claimed 3-24 as the Renegades scored 9-168 in reply.
The Renegades drew a crowd of over 16,000 but, despite finishing on top of the table with a 7-1 win-loss record, they were unable to overcome the fourth-placed Heat.
Captain Aaron Finch admitted Pomersbach's performance had left his bowlers feeling rattled.
Punishing left-hander Pomersbach, who was handed a lifeline at Brisbane by coach Darren Lehmann after a series of alcohol-related incidents in Western Australia, crunched 15 fours and two sixes in his 70-ball knock.
The Heat will not only advance to Saturday's BBL final against Perth Scorchers or Melbourne Stars but they've also qualified for the lucrative T20 Champions League in India in October.
The Renegades began their run-chase well as Finch and Alex Hales smashed 34 from the first three overs. But Cutting claimed 1-1 from the fourth over to apply the brakes, bowling Hales for 20.
Spinner Nathan Hauritz took his first wicket of the tournament when Alex Doolan fell for 13 at 2-63 and the key breakthrough came two deliveries later when Renegades' leading runscorer Finch (23) holed out to deep cover to spinner Chris Lynn (2-15).
Cutting also bowled Tom Cooper (14) while the home side's other main batting hope Ben Rohrer fell to Lynn's bowling at 5-131 after smashing 42 off 22 balls.
Pomersbach's century was only the second by any player this season in the BBL and he's the leading runscorer with 360 runs.
Sri Lanka's spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan conceded 1-35, his most expensive effort this summer for the Renegades, while medium-pacer Sheridan's 0-41 included a 20-run final over of the innings.
After the loss of Peter Forrest (three) in the third over, Pomersbach added 80 for the second wicket with Joe Burns (33) while Dan Christian (11) and Chris Lynn (20 not out) also played handy supporting roles.
Lynn and Pomersbach shared a 45-run stand for the fourth wicket.
"'Pomers' played out of his skin tonight," Finch told Fox Sports.
"We had no real answers for him. One guy can beat you.
"It really rattled the team I suppose when someone's going like that."
Pomersbach praised Lehmann for his mentoring role.
"They've shown a lot of faith in me to get me over. Darren Lehmann's been excellent," Pomersbach said.
"They've taken a bit of a risk but I know where I'm at in my career now and my life and everything's going well."
Cutting, who made his ODI debut last week for Australia, said the Brisbane side had relied on a backs-to-the-wall approach.
"That's the Queensland way. That's when we play our best in any sport," he said.