He who laughs last, laughs loudest – and Hobart Hurricanes ‘keeper Tim Paine is that person.
Melbourne Stars’ president Eddie McGuire labelled him a clown.
Former Melbourne Stars’ BBL captain Shane Warne said on Twitter he was a “4th grade keeper”.
But the Hurricanes’ wicketkeeper/batsman Tim Paine made sure the pain was being felt by the home side at the MCG on Tuesday night after hitting 65 to guide the visitors to an upset victory in their knockout semi-final with the Stars.
Unbeaten in eight games in the home-and-away season, the Stars posted 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 against the Sydney Sixers or Perth Scorchers.
It’s the third time in the BBL’s three-year history the Stars have been eliminated at the semi-final stage.
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 afternoon. The former Test gloveman had also said Hobart would be doing every other team a favour if they beat the unpopular Stars.
The only disappointment for Paine was his run-out in the 17th over.
Ben Dunk (30) and Paine shared a 51-run opening stand before George Bailey (32 not out) and Paine added 64 for the third wicket.
Earlier, Hurricanes legspinner Cameron Boyce notched a career-best haul of 3-11 off three overs and was named man of the match.
Brad Hodge top-scored for the Stars with 51.
Paine said the controversy over the salary-cap issue had been an unwanted distraction.
“It was a bit of a shock as well. I completely forgot about the comments that I’d made,” he said.
“They were 10 days ago. To get here and wake up that morning and see what had gone on was certainly different.
“I tried to get it over as quickly as possible so we could concentrate on tonight.
“Just to be there at the end, it would have been some nice icing on a tough kind of couple of days.”
Asked about Warne’s sledge, Paine said: “That’s terrific. Good on him.”
Stars’ skipper Cameron White said not qualifying for the Champions League was also a big blow.
“They (semi-final losses) hurt a lot,” he said.
“Especially going through this series undefeated and hopes are high, like they are in any other game, but this was the first one at home, too, so it’s really disappointing.”
White said the Stars would be mocked for failing to perform on the big stage.
“You have to cop it on the chin as professional cricketers, so take the criticism that’s going to come our way and you have to deal with that individually and as a team,” he said.
“There’s no double chance (for finishing on top) and it’s a cut-throat Twenty20 game and you’re out.”
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