MELBOURNE - Tim Paine's pre-match comments made him public enemy No.1 at the MCG but the Hobart Hurricanes' batsman emerged triumphant as the Melbourne Stars suffered a shock semi-final loss.
Unbeaten in eight games in the home-and-away season, the Stars chose to bat first last night and overcame an early collapse to post a total of 8-141 on a slow-paced pitch.
The Hurricanes replied with 3-142 with 11 balls to spare to advance to Friday's final after Paine hit 65 off 52 balls.
It's the third time in the BBL's three-year history the Stars have been eliminated at the semi-final stage.
Player-of-the-tournament Ben Dunk (30) gave the Hurricanes an excellent start to their run chase by adding 51 for the first wicket with Paine.
Shoaib Malik made just three before Australian Twenty20 skipper George Bailey joined Paine for a 64-run stand.
Paine was run out attempting a second run in the 17th over at 3-127. Bailey was unbeaten on 32.
Earlier, Hurricanes' legspinner Cameron Boyce notched a career-best haul of 3-11 off three overs.
Brad Hodge, the 39-year-old who was recalled to the national T20 side last week after a four-year absence, top-scored for the Stars with 51 off 35 balls.
Boyce took the key scalp of Glenn Maxwell (12) at 4-45 but Hodge was able to steady the home side's innings through a 62-run partnership with fellow veteran David Hussey (24).
The build-up to the match featured plenty of heat between the two sides.
Stars' president Eddie McGuire was threatening legal action on Monday morning after Paine had suggested in a radio interview the Stars operated under a different salary cap than other teams.
Paine issued an apology on Monday night.
The former Test gloveman had also said Hobart would be doing every other team a favour if they beat the unpopular Stars.
The Hurricanes will play the Sydney Sixers or the Perth Scorchers in Friday's final.
``I would have really liked to have been there at the end to really enjoy the win,'' Paine said.
Asked about the pre-match storm over the salary cap issue, Paine added: ``It didn't affect me one bit.''