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Break came at right time for Scorchers
The West Australian

An 11-day break between matches has freshened up the Perth Scorchers playing squad for a tilt at securing a home final, coach Justin Langer has said.

The Scorchers qualified for a third consecutive finals campaign with a five-run victory over the Adelaide Strikers at the WACA Ground last week.

Victory over a weakened Melbourne Stars line-up at the MCG on Monday would clinch second spot and the right to host a semifinal at home.

Langer said the longer break between matches towards the end of a T20 tournament stretching over almost two months had come at an ideal time.

"It's broken it up nicely," Langer said. "It's a long campaign really for 20-20 cricket. We've prepared very well today.

"It's been a blow having Yasir Arafat injured last game, but it gives us an opportunity to prepare for what's coming up over the next few weeks.

"The Melbourne Stars - there's no doubt they're a very good team. But they're in the same boat as all of us. They lose international players.

"They've got great depth, but they're also going to have to work very hard on getting the balance of their side right. It's probably a good time to meet them next week.

Langer said the out-of-form Alfonso Thomas was a certainty to replace Arafat, who will miss the rest of the tournament following surgery on his bowling hand.

"We're very lucky with Yasir (and his injury) to have Alfonso Thomas," he said.