England were in danger of suffering a third series defeat to Australia this winter after limping to 130 for nine in the second Twenty20 international in Melbourne.
After losing the Ashes and the one-day international series, England required something special with the ball to deny a rampant Australia from winning the shortest format at the earliest opportunity too.
Jos Buttler's 22 was the best any of England's batsmen could muster, as a top-order collapse was inspired by the fielding of 39-year-old Brad Hodge.
The veteran brilliantly caught Luke Wright before a contentious direct-hit run-out sent Eoin Morgan on his way.
A 34-run stand between Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan was the most fruitful England partnership, but that was ended when Josh Hazlewood (four for 30) finished the innings with consecutive wickets.
England's top five failed to survive the first nine overs, after also falling cheaply during the 13-run defeat in Hobart.
That owed in no small part to the inspired fielding of Hodge, back playing for his country after six years, and who was even more surprisingly allowed to bowl the first over with his gentle spin.
The over went for 10 runs, Michael Lumb crashing two boundaries before hitting another pair of fours in the next over from Nathan Coulter-Nile.
But England's top-order wobble set in as Hodge defied his years with some athletic fielding.
Hodge dived full-length forward to catch Wright, his Melbourne Stars team-mate in the Big Bash League, before he had scored.
With Lumb and Alex Hales falling to catches off Hazlewood, England's top three again did not see out the powerplay at 48 for three.
Two run-outs then made matters worse, the first after some inspired Hodge fielding.
Hodge hit the stumps direct from cover and, while Morgan's dive saw him initially reach his ground, the bat bounced up as the bails were dislodged.
That was enough evidence for Simon Fry in the television booth to give him out.
There was no questioning the next run-out when Joe Root, who had looked fluent in reaching 18, was caught well short attempting an ill-advised second on Glenn Maxwell's arm.
Ravi Bopara then picked out deep mid-wicket, off impressive 20-year-old leg-spinner James Muirhead, to leave England 87 for six in the 13th over.
Australia could do no wrong and, when Coulter-Nile returned, he immediately trapped Buttler in front.
After making sure England had something to defend, Bresnan was bowled by Hazlewood, who located James Tredwell's stumps from the next, and last, ball of the innings.