DEBUTANT Chris Woakes was the match-winner as England claimed a record eighth consecutive Twenty20 victory with a last-ball win over Australia in Adelaide.
Paul Collingwood’s side snuck across the line despite a late collapse, inspired by Shane Watson’s career-best figures of four for 15, as Woakes hit his final ball for the single needed for victory.
England were indebted to some choking bowling at the death to restrict Australia to 157 for four after the impressive Watson (59) and fellow opener David Warner (30) combined for 83 from 52 balls.
Michael Yardy was the pick as his gentle spin yielded two for 27.
England had looked on course in their chase before Watson claimed four late wickets, including the crucial dismissal of Eoin Morgan for 43, to create a tense finish.
Needing four from Watson’s final over Graeme Swann, who had earlier been hit for a hat-trick of sixes by the opener, was bowled attempting an ill-conceived pull.
Last man Ajmal Shahzad stoked the tension when he failed to score off the next two balls, but a scrambled single got Woakes on strike and he cut the next ball for two to level scores.
The 21-year-old then lofted a drive to claim the winning run and give England a 1-0 lead ahead of the final game of the series in Melbourne on Friday.