Aaron Finch blasted the highest-ever international score in Twenty20 cricket as England suffered their first defeat to Australia this summer after opener
Finch clubbed a punishing 14 sixes and 11 fours in an innings of 156 from 63 balls at the Ageas Bowl.
The right-hander's record-breaking knock, on a night when a T20-best 457 runs were scored, overshadowed Australia's 248 for six - the second-highest score in cricket's shortest format.
The size of the task overwhelmed England's batsmen despite a more than credible knock, as Joe Root hit an unbeaten 90 in their own second-highest score of 209 for six.
But a 39-run defeat, in the first of two NatWest Twenty20 internationals, meant Australia also ended their 200-day wait for a competitive international win.
The Australians had not tasted success in any format on this tour, or the previous whitewash trip to India, and England captain Stuart Broad had pledged to keep the foot on the beleaguered tourists.
His decision to send Australia in to bat after winning the toss was, however, quickly undermined.
Finch, who reached all his landmarks with sixes, served his intention by hitting his first ball from Steven Finn over the ropes.
The 26-year-old reached his half-century with a straight six off Ravi Bopara and appeared ready to beat South African Richard Levi's international record 45-ball century.
Finch was, however, briefly sedated as he crept up on triple figures.
He played out back-to-back dot balls to miss the record mark before reverting to type - top-edging Broad for six to bring up his ton from 47 balls.
Brendon McCullum's previous Twenty20 record score of 123 was next in his sights - and duly beaten with a maximum over cover - before another heave made him the first man to 150.
Jade Dernbach, who returned impressive figures of three for 34 as the carnage fell around him, finally got Finch to play on in the 18th over.
The Victorian left to a standing ovation from the Ageas Bowl crowd.Suggest a correction