Electing to field first, the Australians restricted New Zealand to 145 for 8, despite Suzie Bates' 52-ball 77. The hosts then knocked off the target in 18.5 overs to take the series at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane with a game to go.
New Zealand went about their defence in grand fashion getting rid of Beth Mooney in the second over castled by Lea Tahuhu for a duck. Ashleigh Gardner struck three fours in quick time but was soon run out for 16 as Australia slipped to 37 for 2 in five overs.
Healy, however, remained unfazed going about her task neatly. She found a suitable ally in Villani and the duo forged a 57-run partnership for the third wicket to take their side closer. Healy, the aggressor of the two, soon reached the third half-century of her 20-over career, her innings studded with 10 fours. Once she fell for 57, Villani took over and along with Meg Lanning added 50 runs for the fourth wicket before the latter fell two runs short of a win.
Villani wasted no time though and ended the innings with a four that also brought up her 12th T20I fifty. She remained unbeaten on 50.
Earlier, Schutt in a riveting opening spell took out the wickets of Sophie Devine (1) and Jess Watkin (2) inside the first four overs to reduce the visitors to 17 for 2. Bates and Amy Satterthwaite then steadied the ship with a 60-run stand for the third wicket. But once Satterthwaite fell for 27, New Zealand failed to keep up with the momentum.
They lost wickets at crucial intervals despite Bates holding one end up. She eventually fell in the 15th over, her innings laced with 11 fours and two sixes, as New Zealand fell short of a par score. Schutt was the pick of the Australian bowlers returning figures of 3 for 15 in her four overs.
The third and final T20I will be staged at Manuka Oval in Canberra on October 5.
First Published: October 1, 2018, 3:11 PM IST