The Melbourne Stars are on track to finally break through and make the finals for the first time after a 23-ball half-century from captain Meg Lanning catapulted them to a crushing victory over Brisbane Heat at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.
After a string of washouts to start their campaign, the Stars have caught fire, winning four matches in a row to move to the top of the ladder under new coach Trent Woodhill.
The return of Australian skipper Lanning after three seasons with Perth has been decisive. The champion batter continues to plunder opposition attacks, surviving a close shave for a diamond duck before taking to the Heat attack.
Lanning hit six fours and three sixes in her knock of 54 from 25 balls. With a host of other handy contributions, the Stars soared to 9-177 from their 20 overs.