Auckland remain on course for final
Auckland's experienced attack was unable to peg back Wellington who reached 182 for 7, an innings built on Jesse Ryder's 27-ball 66 and then given a late boost by Graham Napier's 48 from 19 balls.
Wellington had to restrict Auckland to under 105 to have any chance of reaching the final themselves, but on a batsman-friendly pitch that was never likely. Scott Styris and Lou Vincent added 96 for the third wicket off 9.2 overs, but Styris' dismissal checked what was until then a routine chase. Auckland needed 20 from two overs and 11 off the last, bowled by Napier, but Hopkins clobbered a four and then the match-winning six.
At the weekend, Northern Districts slipped to second place after losing by 19 runs to Canterbury in Christchurch, Johann Myburgh's 68 - the only fifty of the match - the difference between the sides in a low-scoring contest.
Central Districts took over at the top of the table with an easy six-wicket defeat of bottom side Otago in New Plymouth, coasting to the target of 173 with four overs in hand.
Auckland now need to beat Central Districts in the last match on Wednesday, and do so convincingly enough to lift their net run-rate above that of Northern Districts. If they manage that then they will again meet Central Districts in the final next Sunday.