Needing seven runs off the last over to win the fourth ODI, Jos Buttler (65 not out) smashed a huge six and then sent a drive down the ground for four to see England home with three balls remaining.
England took the one-day series against Australia to a decider by squeezing to a three-wicket victory on Saturday, despite a hat trick by Clint McKay at the start of the run chase.
Needing seven runs off the last over to win the fourth ODI at Sophia Gardens, Jos Buttler (65 not out) smashed a huge six and then sent a drive down the ground for four to see England home with three balls remaining.
The hosts had been rocking on 8—3 in reply to 227 all out after McKay removed Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root in successive balls to become the fifth Australian to claim an ODI hat trick.
But Michael Carberry steadied England with 63 his first sizeable contribution this series before Buttler’s late 48—ball salvo that contained five fours and two sixes.
The deciding match will be played in Southampton on Monday, with the Australians looking for a victory to take something back home from a miserable tour in which they lost the Ashes series 3—0 and were eliminated in the group stage in the defense of their Champions Trophy title.
After being put into bat, Australia also started poorly and was struggling to 57—4 before George Bailey came to the rescue with 87 off 91 balls.
McKay ran amok at the start of his second over, Australia’s third. He trapped Pietersen lbw for 5 before enticing nicks to the slip cordon off both Trott and Root, in the process becoming the 34th player to claim a hat trick in ODIs.
England captain Eoin Morgan (53) shared a 104—run stand for the fourth wicket with Carberry and Buttler continued the recovery but only after getting a reprieve on 8 when DRS showed the ball from Shane Watson going on to miss leg stump, overturning an lbw decision.