The dashing opener, dropped on 11 by Amelia Kerr, made full use of the opportunity as she slammed 53 in just 38 balls to help Australia register a competitive 153/7 in their 20 overs. Schutt then broke New Zealand's back returning figures of 3/12 in three overs to bundle out the opposition for a meagre 120 in 17.3 overs. The loss all but knocked out New Zealand from the semi-final race unless Ireland do them a huge favour by beating India later on.
Batting first Healy continued from where she left in the last game against Ireland. She set off by slamming pacer Lea Tahuhu to the deep point fence before carving Sophie Devine for another boundary in the same direction. She was put down in the very over and made New Zealand pay.
Her opening partner Beth Mooney too got her boundary counter running with a slash wide of third man as runs started to flow for Australia. The first six overs yielded 44 runs and by the end of the eighth over they had already reached 69/0.
Mooney was the first one to fall lofting a tossed up delivery from Leigh Kasperek straight into the hands of Suzie Bates stationed at long off for 26 ending the opening stand at 71. Healy though continued on her merry ways and soon brought up her fifty off just 33 with a dab to wide cover further extending her excellent run of form in recent times.
At 82/1 after 10 overs, Australia were potentially looking at a massive first-innings score but the New Zealand bowlers did well to pull things back. Devine got rid of the dangerous Meg Lanning caught behind for 5 while pacer Hannah Rowe trapped the big fish in Healy castling her for a 38-ball 53, her innings studded with eight fours.
Off-spinner Kasperek then accounted for Ashleigh Gardner (10) as Australia lost wickets at crucial intervals. Rachael Haynes struck four fours in her 18-ball 29 to get her side past the 150-run mark but the New Zealand bowlers did mighty well to restrict Australia especially in the last 10 overs where they snapped up six wickets for 71 runs.
Kasperek was the pick of the White Ferns bowlers returning 3/25 in her four overs while Devine chipped in with two wickets as well.
New Zealand's chase got off to the worst possible start as they lost a wicket each in the first three overs. Opener Anna Peterson was the first to depart falling for a two-ball duck to Schutt. Ellyse Perry then got into the act beating Devine's defences with a peach of an in-dippper for a four-ball duck before left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux got rid of New Zealand captain Amy Satterthwaite, who opting for a reverse sweep was trapped lbw for 2.
At 13/3 after three overs, New Zealand desperately needed someone to stand up for them and the ever-reliable Bates once again came to their rescue. She kept the scoreboard ticking by rotating the strike and collecting the odd boundary. She found able support in Katey Martin, who after taking her time to settle in too got going with three fours off Perry.
Just when it seemed the duo will pull New Zealand out of the woods Healy affected a smart stumping behind the stumps to send Martin on her bike for a 20-ball 24. Delissa Kimmince then struck twice in an over first accounting for Maddy Green and then getting rid of Bernadine Bezuidenhout as pressure started to tell on New Zealand who slipped to 98/6.
Gardner then got the big wicket of Bates trapping the opener lbw with a quicker one for a well-made 42-ball 48 which consisted of four fours and a six. Schutt and Molineux then provided the finishing touches bowling out New Zealand with 15 balls to spare. Healy was awarded Player of the Match for her half-century.
Brief Scores: Australia 153/7 (Alyssa Healy 53, Rachael Haynes 29; Leigh Kasperek 3/25, Sophie Devine 2/37) beat New Zealand 120 in 17.3 overs (Suzie Bates 48, Katey Martin 24; Megan Schutt 3-12, Sophie Molineux 2-20) by 33 runs
First Published: November 14, 2018, 10:14 AM IST