Eoin Morgan’s brilliant century was not enough for England to finally beat Australia this winter after the hosts snatched a dramatic one-wicket victory in the second one-day international at the Gabba.
James Faulkner was the home hero as he blazed an unbeaten 69 from 47 balls - including a hat-trick of fours in the final over from Tim Bresnan.
Already without a win in 84 days in Australia, Alastair Cook’s side were left deflated as Michael Clarke’s side chased down 300 for eight - the highest ever pursuit at the Gabba.
England had been on the brink of victory when last man Clint McKay walked to the crease with 57 still needed. But Faulkner took over, hitting five sixes in his match-changing innings, before completing the task with three balls to spare.
That meant Morgan’s heroics with the bat were in vain after he had thrashed the majority of his 106 in the final 10 overs as a 117-run stand with Jos Buttler, from 68 balls, surged England to 300 for eight.
England’s night was soured further after Morgan was forced off late in the game with a problem the England and Wales Cricket Board described as a tight calf on its Twitter page.
England had managed just one century against Australia all winter, from Ben Stokes in the Perth Test, but Morgan belatedly added a second of the tour.
A team unchanged from the six-wicket defeat in Melbourne appeared consigned to a below-par total, after Cook won the toss, as they idled to 178 for five in the 38th over.
Regular wickets meant Morgan was initially forced to play within himself, reaching his half-century from 70 balls, with only Ian Bell’s 68 at the top of the order providing a foundation.
But from there the left-hander took charge, with able assistance from Buttler (49), as his second 50 came from 24 balls.
Morgan reached three figures with a ramp over wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, which raced to the ropes and prompted a fist pump of delight.
Morgan’s hitting was only ended in the final over, when he mistimed another swat at Faulkner, who he had launched for back-to-back sixes at the height of his 99-ball innings.
England then claimed early wickets thanks to Chris Jordan.
The right-armer removed openers Aaron Finch and David Warner inside the first six overs - both via unlikely one-handed catches.
Gary Ballance plucked a fierce Finch drive out of the sky with his right hand - to make some amends for his costly drop in Melbourne when the opener went on to score a match-winning century.
Jordan then took an even better return catch to get rid of the dangerous Warner - the man he also dropped early at the MCG - relying on instinct to latch on to a ball that seemed destined to whiz by him.
It was just the start England desired and it got better when Joe Root’s occasional spin secured the prized scalp of Australia skipper Clarke, slicing to Ballance at point.
Australia were still able to score freely, Shaun Marsh reached his half-century from 60 balls, and there was a sense England still needed to take wickets.
Root obliged when he skidded one past a Marsh late cut before Boyd Rankin trapped George Bailey plumb in front.
But still Australia attacked with Glenn Maxwell reverse-sweeping Root for a hat-trick of fours to kick-start an 80-run stand with Brad Haddin that started to shift the momentum away from England.
Tim Bresnan wrenched it back by removing both men in the 35th over.
Haddin skied high for Cook to hold on at mid-off and then Maxwell, who had reached a half-century from 37 balls, pulled straight to Ravi Bopara inside the ring.
Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Johnson’s feared big hitting did not eventuate, but Faulkner’s did as he made one last defiant stand with McKay.
He was athletically caught by Root, but with his momentum taking him over the rope the fielder was forced to let go.
Faulkner continued to go at England, smashing Ben Stokes for consecutive sixes, and with 12 needed from the final over the all-rounder completed the job in three balls.
Australia had earlier thought they had Morgan on just one, when he was caught in the deep after attacking Clarke’s left-arm spin.
It was a deliberate shot though after Morgan had intelligently spotted too many men outside the fielding ring, and no-ball was called.
Morgan had needed to survive a scare from the previous ball too, when Clarke helped on a Bell drive that only just missed the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
Morgan and Bell were forced into a rebuilding job after England lost three wickets for 21 runs, to raise further question marks over the top order.
Cook had seen off the new-ball threat of Johnson, back in Australia’s side after he was rested in Melbourne, only to push the first ball of spin he faced back to Maxwell for a low return catch.
The out-of-form Root came and went, trapped lbw by Johnson after getting himself into an awkward position, and then compounding the error by incorrectly reviewing for the second game running.
Ballance managed nine before he ran past a Maxwell delivery to be stumped and England were 78 for three in the 18th over.
Bell and Morgan revived the innings in a 61-run stand that was ended by some smart Clarke fielding.
Bell was sent back by Morgan after dropping the ball to Clarke’s favoured left-hand side and a desperate dive could not save him from a direct hit.
Ravi Bopara fell in the powerplay, softly bunting Faulkner to short mid-wicket to leave England 178 for five.
But that proved to be the stage for Morgan and Buttler to sweep in. A late clatter of wickets denied England an even higher total - Buttler, Morgan and Stokes all departed within five balls - which proved costly in the end.