Clint McKay became just the fifth Australian to take a hat-trick in international one-day cricket but it wasn't enough to secure victory for the tourists in the fourth game of the series at Cardiff.
England's three-wicket win on Saturday with just three balls to spare levelled the series at 1-1 meaning Monday's game at Southampton will be the decider.
Australia set England a target of 228 and the bowlers started brilliantly with McKay snaring the key wickets of Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root with the first three deliveries of his second over.
The hosts were reeling at 3-8 after just 15 balls.
The last Australian to take a hat-trick in an ODI was Daniel Christian against Sri Lanka in Melbourne in early 2012.
McKay is ranked seventh in the world one-day bowling rankings - the only Australian in the top 10. He finished with 4-39 off 10 overs.
After the initial shock of losing three quick wickets, opener Michael Carberry and captain Eoin Morgan set about putting England back in the game.
They piled on 104 for the fourth wicket.
Shane Watson had Morgan chopping on for 53 and Carberry subsequently fell for 63 to debutant Nathan Coulter-Nile who was in the team at expense of Josh Hazlewood.
The right-arm quick from Perth took 1-34 in his 10 overs.
When Ravi Bopara was out lbw it looked like Australian might cruise to victory.
But Jos Buttler - who successfully used the Decision Review System to have an lbw call reversed at Watson's expense - and Ben Stokes had other ideas.
The pair put on 75 for the seventh wicket to steer England to within sight of victory.
Needing seven off the last over, Buttler smashed Mitchell Johnson's first ball for six and then the third for four to finish 65 not out.
Earlier, the Australians had a shaky start to their innings losing in-form opener Aaron Finch to the first legitimate ball and Watson a few overs later for just six.
George Bailey, however, thumped 87 off 91 balls for his highest one-day score against England.
The Australian tally of 227 could have been a lot better after they'd fought back to be 5-209 with almost 10 overs to play.
A late collapse, however, saw the tourists lose their last five wickets for just 18 runs in the space of six overs.
English off-spinner James Tredwell was carted during his first spell of 0-48 but hit back in his second spell to take 3-5.