Australia captain Michael Clarke was left to rue a patchy performance after England scrambled a three-wicket victory in Cardiff to level the one-day series.
The hosts were 8-3 in pursuit of 227 all out after Clint McKay's hat-trick in his second over but after Michael Carberry (63) and Eoin Morgan (53) hauled them back within range, Jos Buttler finished the job with three balls to spare after a six and a four in the final over off Mitchell Johnson.
Clarke's side, who had earlier stumbled to 11-2, then 57-4 against England's seamers, owed much to George Bailey (87) for mustering as many as they did after being put in.
"We lost five for 18 at the end of our innings, so we needed to make some more runs," Clarke said.
"When you only make that many runs, you know you have to bowl the opposition out.
"We knew we had to take 10 wickets to win the game, and unfortunately we didn't do that."
McKay, who finished with 4-39, impressed his captain again but Clarke reserved ample credit for England.
"Clint's bowled really well for us for the last few years in the shorter form of the game," Clarke added.
"He's a huge part of our team and he deserves this. It's a pretty good hat-trick to have - some good players in there. But we couldn't get the last few out.
"I thought England played really well, and found a way. We have no excuses. They outplayed us today."
Watch the fifth NatWest Series ODI between England and Australia at the Ageas Bowl this Monday from 1.30pm on Sky Sports 2 HD.