Behrendorff to take over late show

Perth Scorchers are confident they have the bowling options to cover the loss of injured all- rounder Yasir Arafat, with improving paceman Jason Behrendorff primed to handle the high-stakes final overs.

Behrendorff, 23, has the second best bowling economy rate in the team at 6.58 runs an over, just behind Brad Hogg.

He has claimed seven wickets so far in the competition, with his best spell coming in the win over Sydney Sixers at the SCG a fortnight ago when he was on a hat-trick and finished with 3-21.

The Scorchers will also look to promising 20-year-old quick Pat Cummins, who is recovering well from a back injury and impressed on his debut against the Adelaide Strikers last week.

All-rounder Alfonso Thomas has been backed to come into the line-up as Arafat's replacement.

Scorchers captain Simon Katich said left-armer Behrendorff had been practising his bowling at the death.

He said Behrendorff and others would need to step up against a depleted Melbourne Stars at the MCG on Monday as Perth bid to secure a home semifinal.

"We're fortunate that we've got a very flexible bowling line-up," Katich said.

"A number of guys can fill a variety of roles. Jason Behrendorff hasn't had a crack at it (bowling the final overs) yet, but he's been practising trying to get better at the end.

"Alfonso Thomas - we know his experience and what he's capable of, so he's one that springs to mind.

"He (Behrendorff) has been magnificent. To see where he's come from at the start of the tournament last year where I don't think he'd even played a Twenty20 game to where he is now, he's one of the premier bowlers in the first six overs."

Katich said Cummins had been unlucky not to have a greater impact than his return of 1-40.

Speedster Nathan Coulter-Nile, on duty with the Australian one-day team, will return to the Scorchers for the finals series.

The West Australian

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