Melbourne Renegades coach Simon Helmot laid the blame for Tuesday's semi-final defeat at his bowlers after they conceded a total of 3-183 against Brisbane Heat.
The home side replied with 9-168 at Etihad Stadium as the Renegades crashed out of the Big Bash League title race at the semi-final stage despite qualifying on top with a 7-1 win-loss record.
The Renegades' Sri Lankan import Muttiah Muralitharan conceded his worst run-tally of the season after taking 1-35 from his four overs of spin.
The injury to West Indian import allrounder Marlon Samuels reduced the team's bowling options, as Samuels was replaced in the side for the last two games by English import opening batsman Alex Hales.
Skipper Aaron Finch gave himself a bowl with mixed results, taking 1-23 off two overs, while medium-pacer Will Sheridan (0-41) conceded 20 runs from the final over of the innings as Luke Pomersbach completed his amazing knock of 112 not out from 70 balls.
Helmot said this summer was all about regaining respect for his side after a dismal 2011/12. However, after finishing on top of the table and hosting a semi-final, it was a disappointing exit in front of more than 16,000 diehard fans.
"The boys had a team of believers. They trust in each other," Helmot told reporters.
"What's disappointing is that we lost a semi-final we probably should have won. We were playing well enough to win.
"All those spin-offs (a semi-final win would have put the Renegades in the Champions League in India in October), they don't happen now.
"We need to look at ways that we can bowl better. We didn't bowl well enough tonight."
Helmot said the Renegades had taken huge steps forward this summer, with the board, coaching staff and playing group all united.
"That's what is making this even more gut-wrenching. I just felt we under-achieved in what should have been our time," he said.
"It's certainly a fantastic season compared to last. Last season we were two and five (two wins and five losses). This season we were seven (wins) from nine.
"Last season compared to this season was about gaining some respect in the competition and we've certainly shown that.
"We didn't put in our best effort tonight and in Twenty20 cricket you've got to make sure you're up for every contest because an individual let alone a team can certainly take it away from you pretty quickly."