Ed Joyce hailed Luke Pomersbach after he delivered his second successive match-winning innings to seal a Big Bash Final spot for Brisbane Heat and knockout favourites Melbourne Renegades.
Home side Renegades had topped the standings after winning seven of their eight group games and were hot favourites to lift the 2012-13 title.
However, Pomersbach - who had crashed 82 from 42 balls against Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday to earn Heat a semi-final berth - smacked 112 from 70 deliveries to set a daunting 184 run target for the Renegades to chase.
Despite a flurry of dropped catches helping their cause, Renegades fell 15 short of their target and instead it will be Heat - who only qualified for the semi-finals on net run rate - in the final.
"You have to feel for the Renegades," said former England batsman Joyce. "It's so disappointing for them because they were the best side by miles.
"They'd only lost one game up to this point, they'd won every single game at their home ground and they'll feel like this is a huge opportunity lost.
"They've gone out in the semi-final and no one remembers the semi-finals - but what an incredible innings from Pomersbach.
"He started really well, although I don't think Renegades bowled too well at him at the start; they gave him a few too many full tosses and a few too many short balls.
"But Pomersbach had no fear, he played a shot-a-ball and he didn't care if a wicket fell at the other end; he'd still try to hit the next ball for a four or six.
"He was fantastic and to do it in two games in a row, both away from home and both games which were effectively finals for the team, is an incredible effort."
However, Dominic Cork disagreed with the view Heat had caused a shock and suggested the Brisbane side - who had lost three of their first four games in the group phase - had peaked perfectly for the key part of the tournament.
"I didn't see this as an upset as I thought Heat had hit momentum at the right time of the competition," said the ex-England and Hampshire seamer.
"They were playing back-to-back games and looked like they'd got their side together, led by a very good coach in Darren Lehmann.
"Heat deserve to be in the final; yes, it was down to Pomersbach's 112 but it was a team performance, they worked well, and stuck with it when it looked like it was going to go wrong with all the dropped catches
"Form means nothing in semi-finals; it's about who turns up on the day. The Heat turned up today, especially Pomersbach, and they'll now go to last year's finalists Perth Scorchers or the Melbourne Stars."
See the second Big Bash semi-final live on Sky Sports: Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars, Wed, 9am, Sky Sports 1 HD