Perth Scorchers are one win away from a potential home semifinal but must tame Adelaide Strikers quick Shaun Tait at Adelaide Oval today to get there.
Tait and Kane Richardson have taken more wickets (eight each) than any other Strikers in this season's tournament.
Tait has been picked according to match-day conditions and his contribution has come in just four games as he has torn a hole through opposition batting line-ups.
Perth captain Simon Katich expected Tait to play today and said his former Australian teammate would be one of the main threats to the Scorchers' hopes of winning the crucial clash.
"They've got a number of quality spin options and then you throw in the quality of Shaun Tait," Katich said.
"He can be destructive in this form of the game, either with a swinging ball up front or at the back end if it happens to reverse a little bit, or he's trying to knock the stumps over.
"When someone's bowling 150km/h it can go either way pretty quickly. He can either take a lot of wickets or possibly go for a few runs."
Both sides are treating their round-one meeting in Perth as ancient history and recent form will count for little as they look towards the finals.
The Strikers won the opening fixture by six wickets as the Scorchers got off to a slow start, losing their first two games. But they have won four of their last five to storm back into contention.
The Scorchers could sneak into the semifinals with a narrow loss to Adelaide, but a big loss could see them miss the finals altogether.
"It is exciting because we had a slow start, but we've worked hard to get back into contention," Katich said. "Now we've put ourselves in contention but we've still got plenty of work to do."
Adelaide lost West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard, who has returned home for international duty, but regained the services of Test spinner Nathan Lyon.
·English opener Alex Hales ended the Sydney Sixers' title defence in spectacular style last night as the table-topping Melbourne Renegades sounded an ominous warning ahead of the finals.
Hales, signed as injured Jamaican Marlon Samuels' replacement, walloped 89 from 52 balls, including eight sixes, to lift the Renegades to 5-178 and a 29-run win at the SCG.
His stunning performance came less than 12 hours after he completed the exacting journey from London to Sydney, but the 24-year-old showed no signs of jetlag in the easy win.
He punished spinner Steve O'Keefe (0-50 from three overs), smacking four sixes off one over.
- ·BOARDS, LADDER * P79
"Now we've put ourselves in contention but we've still got plenty of work to do.""Scorchers skipper *Simon Katich *
With Australian Associated Press