Twenty20 Big Bash reaching huge finish
The premise of Twenty20 cricket maybe simple, but who will fight out the final of the Australian domestic version of the game could be settled as much by off field calculations as the carnage in the middle.
With the final three games of the tournament taking place on Thursday, reigning champions Victoria, last year's beaten finalists Tasmania and Western Australia are all still in line to feature and possibly host the final.
And with head-to-head results between the various teams also even, net run rates could well determine who will contest this weekend's finale, and where.
As it stands, Tasmania and Victoria appear favourite to replay last year's final, sitting one and two on the ladder, and both with a superior run rate to WA.
However, if Tasmania were to drop points against Queensland - and with rain forecast in Brisbane - a win for the Warriors against NSW would see them host the final in Perth regardless of what Victoria do against South Australia, thanks to their victory over the Bushrangers.
Tasmanian skipper Dan Marsh said despite all the machinations, beating the Bulls was first and foremost - with the chance of another crack at Victoria also a huge incentive.
"If we win that, our run rate is exceptional. We can't do much about the other teams, all we have to do is win in Brisbane and hope for the best," Marsh said.
"We have been disappointing against Victoria, and we are pretty keen to have another crack at them because we are sick of losing to them."
With a place in October's international Champions Twenty20 tournament on offer for both finalists - an event with a winner's cheque of $US2 million ($A2.28 million) - the stakes are higher than for any other games played in Australia so far.
And Victorian skipper Cameron White is eagerly eyeing off a home final, after the outstanding form of David Hussey dented Tasmania's unbeaten run on Tuesday.
"A win (against SA) would give us a big chance," White said.
"And (Hussey) is on fire ... he is putting his name forward, and has been consistently in all formats for three years.
"You would think he was almost a certainty (for Australia's Twenty20 clash with India on February 1). He is in super form and asides from that he is just a great player. He has got the skill and the power."
One certainty is that NSW will be Thursday's bridesmaids - even with a win against WA.
Despite a chance the Blues could finish on the same points as the three competition leaders, losses to Victoria and Tasmania mean the highest they can finish is third.