Australia 107 for 7 (Shrubsole 2-9) beat England 87 (Farrell 3-17) by 20 runs Scorecard
Australia secured their first Women's Ashes victory in England in 14 years with a ruthless bowling display in the second T20 in Hove.
In a low-scoring match - only seven players reached double figures and the highest individual score was Lydia Greenway's 26 - England imploded as they chased what had seemed a comfortable 108 for victory and when Greenway was caught at deep midwicket off the excellent bowling of Rene Farrell in the final over they were still 20 runs shy of Australia's tally.
Victory put Australia 10-4 up on points, with only one T20 to play, and ended England's faint hope of coming from behind to draw the series and hang on to the Ashes.
The loss of early wickets, some of them to unforgivably soft shots, left Greenway vainly trying to marshall the tail and, after drawing strong criticism for their dismal batting in the solitary Test match of the series, England must now face the ignominy of posting their lowest ever score in T20 internationals.
Australia's batting was hardly at its best - this was their second-lowest successful defence batting first in T20 - but two wickets in two balls from Ellyse Perry sparked a collapse from which England found it increasingly difficult to recover as Meg Lanning changed her bowlers and directed her fielders superbly.
In a start that echoed the first T20 encounter, England sent Australia into bat and set about effectively smothering their top order through the tight lines bowled by Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole.
Australia were again unable to score freely throughout the Powerplay; in Chelmsford they were 26 for 1 after six overs, in Hove they found themselves at 19 for 1 after Ellyse Perry chipped Shrubsole to midwicket.
The arrival of Lanning heralded the introduction of spin and the dual attack of Danielle Hazell and Rebecca Grundy.
Grundy, coming into the side for Jenny Gunn, justified her call up when she trapped Lanning lbw and took a solid catch off her own bowling to dismiss Alex Blackwell, while Hazell accounted for opener Elyse Villani with a full, straight delivery that rapped the front pad.
From 51 for 4, Australia were dragged up past the hundred mark by Jess Jonassen and Jess Cameron, with a cameo from Grace Harris, who launched the ball into the hospitality area of the sold-out crowd for the only six of the match.
Perhaps England were lulled into complacency by the small target ahead of them. Perhaps they were overconfident after successfully chasing down a slightly more challenging total at Chelmsford. In taking nothing away from Australia's efforts with the ball and in the field, it must be said that several England players threw their wickets away and panicked as the challenge grew steeper.
Edwards departed in the second over, chopping on as she tried to play late to the left-arm spin of Jonassen, but more disappointing was Lauren Winfield's loose drive off Perry straight to mid-off in the following over.
Perry had two from two deliveries when Nat Sciver played across the line to her first delivery only to see the ball clatter into the stumps and when Taylor - the key to England's victory in the first T20 - and Heather Knight continued the procession to the pavilion, England had slumped to 28 for 5 by the end of the Powerplay.
Brunt offered some resistance - aside from Greenway she was the only England player to pass 8 - but once she was bowled, by Megan Schutt, Greenway was left with a mountain to climb and no batting sherpas to help carry the load.
Australia's bowling efforts shouldn't be overlooked and the inclusion of Farrell on what looked a slow and wearing pitch proved a masterstroke. Australia bowled only four overs of spin as their quicker bowlers cleaned up and there were some terrific efforts in the field, including a brilliant catch from Lanning at midwicket to dismiss Shrubsole and a fine, low take by Jonassen to end the match.
But England will rue the lack of composure and application that made a small target seem gargantuan and they must now travel to the double-header with the men in Cardiff for the final T20 knowing they have been soundly beaten across the three formats.