Melbourne Stars will look to book a spot in the final of the Big Bash League (BBL) on Friday when they face the defending champions Perth Scorchers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The last time the two sides met, the Stars thrashed the Scorchers by 51 runs, with that victory helping them secure a home semifinal.
But this is a different game and stage altogether. The approach and tactics will be different. The two teams are just couple of matches away from that coveted BBL trophy.
Whoever wins will set up a thrilling clash against the Sydney Thunder, who have already reached the final after thumping the most consistent side of BBL this season -- Adelaide Strikers.
Stars' lineup lack that depth after the departure of James Faulkner, John Hastings, Glenn Maxwell and Scott Boland, who are with the Australia squad for the India ODIs. But the other players have done fairly well to help them maintain a good run. Stars, who have failed to reach the BBL final, despite qualifying for the semis everytime, started off with their BBL campaign rather slowly, before fashioning a turnaround with four wins in a row.
Luke Wright has been in good form at the top of the order, while Kevin Pietersen has won the Stars a couple of matches with his willow. Pietersen's consistency has been one of the keys to their success.
"Luke Wright has scored a hundred this year, Kevin Pietersen has been a model of consistency and Marcus Stoinis, I know he still has his critics but I think he's one of the most talented players in Australia," Stars skipper David Hussey was quoted as saying by the official website of Melbourne Stars.
Meanwhile, Scorchers will look to book a place in the Big Bash League Final for the fifth time in a row. The Scorchers are aware of how they were outclassed by the Stars in the last fixture, a loss which cost them a home semifinal.
"It was one of those games where we didn't take too much time looking at it, we moved on pretty quickly onto what we need to do tomorrow night," Scorchers assistant coach Adam Griffith told the official website of Perth Scorchers.
"I think one of the things is that our bowling attack will change a little bit with personnel. Jason Behrendorff and Joel Paris come back in, which is a big boost for us."
English all-rounder David Willey and Australian Brad Hogg will be the key players for the Scorchers. Perth coach Justin Langer will want these two players to be at their very best in the semifinal against the Stars.
However, the champions will still be without Shaun, who formed a formidable partnership with captain Michael Klinger early on in this BBL season.
Squads: Melbourne Stars: David Hussey (C), Michael Beer, Jackson Coleman, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Ben Hilfenhaus, Kevin Pietersen, Rob Quiney, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Luke Wright, Adam Zampa.
Perth Scorchers: Adam Voges (C), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Michael Carberry, Matt Dixon, Marcus Harris, Brad Hogg, Michael Klinger, Joel Paris, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Willey.
Where to watch live:
The 2nd semifinal of the Big Bash League between Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers is scheduled for a 7:40 pm local time (2:10 pm IST, 9:40 am BST and 8:40 am GMT) start with the live coverage in India will be available on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1. T20 fans in India can also stream the BBL semifinal live on Starpsorts.com.
Viewers in Australia, can tune into Channel 10 to catch the live action of the BBL 2nd semifinal - Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers.
Audience in UK can switch to Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1 to catch the live action of the 2nd semifinal of the BBL 2015-2016 - Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers. The live streaming option will be available on Watch Sky Sports in UK.
Cricket Fans in the US can watch Stars vs Scorchers 2nd semifinal on Willow TV. Viewers can also stream the same on Willow TV Online.