A Mignon du Preez half-century has lifted Hobart to a 38-run win over the Melbourne Stars and edged them to within one victory of ending the WBBL's longest-running finals drought.
In a crucial round match at La Trobe in northern Tasmania, Du Preez hit 50 to help the Hurricanes to 7-152 before the Stars limped their way to 6-114 in reply.
The result all but ends the Stars' hopes of reaching the finals, now needing to win their last two games and have results go in their favour to qualify.
But the scenario is far better for the Hurricanes with two rounds left.
They sit third on 15 points, two points clear of Perth and Adelaide in fourth and fifth respectively.
A win over the Strikers on Friday at North Sydney will be enough for them to return to the finals for the first time since the second edition in 2016-17.
They also enter that match in form, with wins from four of their past five games.
After they got off to a flyer on Wednesday through Lizelle Lee (24), Du Preez held the Hurricanes' innings together as wickets fell through the middle and late overs.
Patient when required to be, South African du Preez helped the Hurricanes take 26 from the final three overs with a big six off Sophie Day late.
Nicola Carey also chipped in with 27 from 18, before 18-year-old English star Alice Capsey gave Melbourne hope with bat and ball.
The offspinner claimed 2-14 off her three overs, then kickstarted the Stars's innings with 38 from 26 after hitting 80no against the same opposition on Tuesday.
But when she picked out Rachel Trenaman at long-off with the score at 1-59 off Ruth Johnston, the Stars's chase went with her.
The Melbourne side went 46 balls without a boundary as spinners Johnston (1-7 from two overs), Maisy Gibson (1-17 off four) and Amy Smith (1-16 off four) on her 18th birthday took control.