Aaron Finch concedes it will take "something special" for Melbourne Renegades to reach the Big Bash League semi-finals as a consequence of being the victim of Sydney Thunder breaking its 19-match losing streak.
Given the Renegades were bowled out for 104 and were helpless to prevent the Thunder reaching the target one wicket down with 51 balls to spare, it was unsurprising captain Finch declared his team was "outplayed in every facet of the game" on Tuesday night at Etihad Stadium.
"I misread the wicket. It seemed to get better as the night went on. I didn't think that would happen," he said, in reference to batting first on a fresh pitch after winning the toss.
"Last year the wickets tended to get a bit lower and slower as the game went on and assisted our spinners. This year they seem to have had a bit more moisture in them and got better.
"I felt as if runs on the board against a side that had been down for quite a while was the right move, and I had confidence in our batters to do that, myself included. It was one of those nights where it didn't click. Nothing went right for the whole night."
Finch, who enjoyed a superb record at Etihad Stadium before Tuesday night, had no regrets about his departure from the second ball of the match, from which he was comprehensively bowled by emerging seamer Gurinder Sandhu.
"I think if you bowled me that ball 10 more times you'd knock me over 10 times," he said. "It's just one of those things. If you open the batting you're going to get a good one every now and then."
Given Finch came into the match having scored his maiden home century for Australia two days earlier, he said Tuesday night was a "big comedown".
"It's gone from one of the highest highs to a very low low," he said.
Finch admitted there had been an element of concern from the Renegades going into the match, in terms of not being the team to lose to the Thunder after a 19-match losing streak, but argued the result was not a total surprise given the way the Thunder had started the season.
"We've seen this season, in four or five of their games, they've been in really good positions to win the game and haven't quite been able to get over the line," he said.
"The way Chandika [Hathurusinghe, coach] has got them playing, and Mr Cricket [Mike Hussey], is phenomenal.
"They'll be a very competitive team and tough team to beat. I'm sure coming into the back end of the tournament . . . [Sydney Sixers will be] nervous to play them."
Hussey, who hit the winning run, said he was "really proud" of his teammates.
"It was an all-round great performance, really," the captain said. "It's surprising how emphatic the victory was in the end but sometimes it's just meant to be your day.
Hussey said he had been unsure of what to do had he won the toss, and in retrospect was pleased Finch allowed the Thunder bowlers first opportunity with the ball.
"I thought the bowlers were absolutely outstanding . . . there was a little bit of movement in the wicket so that definitely helped us," he said.
"Most of the tournament those little things have been going against us. In this particular case those little things went our way."
Hussey was particularly pleased for Usman Khawaja, because he was the only survivor from the Thunder's only other two wins 25 months' ago. But he insisted the Thunder players must not get carried away by Tuesday night's results.
"We need to learn how to win. That's hopefully a lesson for everyone – but it's only one win. We've got to make sure we start building on that first win," he said.
"This is about building something we can all be proud of. It's been a tough graft, no question, but if we can build . . . a successful franchise it will be pleasing, and well worth the big decision to make to come over [from Perth]."
The Thunder will host the city rivals, the Sixers, in their last match of the season on January 25.
The Renegades host the Sixers on Saturday night and will then travel to Adelaide to play the Strikers on January 22. With a net run-rate of -0.64, below Brisbane (-0.2) and higher-placed teams Sydney Sixers (-0.52, before Wednesday night's match against Hobart) and Perth (0.04), Finch said it would be "unbelievably hard" to reach the top four.
"We had confidence that if we won two and maybe lost a close one that we'd definitely sneak in, but it's going to take nothing short of a thumping win, maybe even two, to get us in now, and relying on a couple of results," he said.
"When you rely on other teams to lose it's never a good position to be in. You're trying to put your eggs in someone else's basket."
Finch and James Pattinson will not be available for the Renegades' next two matches, due to national one-day team duty.