DIMI Mascarenhas is preparing go head-to-head with a former Hampshire teammate - for the right to face another in the Big Bash final.

The 35-year-old all-rounder is expected to keep his place in the Melbourne Stars side for their Australian Big Bash semi-final against Simon Katich’s Perth Scorchers.

Mascarenhas, pictured, made a winning debut for the Stars last week when he was a late call-up to the side for their must-win game against Sydney Thunder.

Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga – Stars’ leading wicket-taker in the Big Bash with 13 wickets – was withdrawn to concentrate on his international commitments.

And Stars skipper Shane Warne – a good friend of Mascarenhas – was serving a one-game suspension for an on-field bust-up.

Warne, who returns to skipper the Stars tomorrow, was the reason behind Mascarenhas’ signing.

Ian Chappell, chairman of the Stars’ selectors, explained: “I’m glad we took Warney’s advice as Dimitri showed himself to be a good competitive cricketer in the game against the Thunder and helped us win that crucial match.

“He could have a further part to play in the semi. He’s a very experienced cricketer who excels in the shorter forms of the game.

“He’s a hard-hitting batsman, capable of scoring quickly, he’s a wicket-taker, and he’s a good fielder. We are very pleased to have him.”

Tomorrow's winners will play a Brisbane Heat side including Dan Christian in Saturday's final after they beat the Melbourne Renegades by 15 runs today.