Jason Roy has blasted out of his Big Bash League rut to hand England their first major victory on what has been a disappointing tour of Australia, the opener's MCG record score of 180 securing a comfortable five-wicket win and a 1-0 lead in the Gillette ODI Series.
After Aaron Finch (107 from 119 balls) had guided Australia to 8-304 on a chilly mid-summer afternoon at the MCG, Roy responded with a century of his own, the fourth of his career coming a little more than six months after he had been axed from an England side that showed on Sunday why they're considered one of the favourites for the 2019 World Cup.
Conversely, Australia have now lost eight of their past nine games and their inability to defend a 300-plus total has given them another headache ahead of their Cup defence, even though their batting returned to somewhere near its best after an indifferent 12 months.
Having averaged just 10 in six matches for Sydney Sixers in the KFC BBL, Roy exploded early in the run chase as he and Jonny Bairstow clattered seven fours and two sixes in less than four-and-a-half overs from Mitchell Starc and Patrick Cummins.
Roy steadied after his early blitzkrieg and the wickets of Bairstow (14) and Alex Hales (4), but he and Joe Root (91 not out) still managed to easily maintain a rate of six runs an over that had their victory target, an ODI record at the MCG, well within their grasp.
The right-hander rode his luck, notably in the 26th over of the innings when he was given out leg before wicket for 91 off the bowling of Adam Zampa. But he was saved by a review, which only came at the urging of Root, and Roy celebrated by hitting the next ball for six, just over the out-stretched fingers of Finch at long on.
Roy and Root shared a 221-run partnership, the second-largest ever at the MCG, as the opener registered the highest score by an Englishman and the highest by any batsman at the venue, topping Mark Waugh's 173 against the West Indies in 2001.
The 27-year-old had been dropped during last year's ICC Champions Trophy and only returned to the England side in September, recalled in place of Hales after the latter was suspended for his role in the alleged Ben Stokes incident in Bristol.
And with scores of 84, 96 and 180 here, a 151-ball innings that featured 16 fours and five sixes, he looms as a key pillar in England's quest for a maiden World Cup title on home soil next year.
Earlier, England skipper Eoin Morgan sent the Australians in and his spearhead Mark Wood bowled with the hostility and pace his Test teammates had noticeably lacked in their surrendering of the Ashes urn over the previous six weeks.
The right-armer nudged the 150km/hr mark and picked up the first wicket of the series when he got a delivery to rear up at David Warner, find the shoulder of his bat and lob into the hands of Test skipper Root, who must have been wondering what could have been had the Durham man been fully fit earlier in the summer.
And when Steve Smith (23) and Travis Head (5) lost their wickets inside 15 overs, the score was 3-78 and the Australians were ripe for the kind of middle-order collapse that had so damaged them in this form of the game over the previous 12 months.
But Finch and the re-born Mitchell Marsh not only ensured there would be no such stumble, they accelerated. The pair were particularly harsh on leg-spinner Adil Rashid, taking 34 from his three overs midway through the innings and bringing up a century stand in just 18 overs.
Two balls later, Finch celebrated his ninth ODI century and his third in three matches against England at the MCG by blasting Rashid into the Southern Stand, his first hundred on home soil since he was dumped from the one-day side last year.
The Victorian also moved beyond 3000 runs in his career, becoming the equal-fifth fastest Australian to do so, but his dismissal was quickly followed by that of Marsh (50 from 68 balls) and the Australian innings again threatened to peter out.
But Marcus Stoinis, representing his country for the first time on home soil, played a typically belligerent innings to push Australia beyond 300 and re-affirm his status as an international player of immense potential.
The right-hander found the boundary rope five times and went over it twice in scoring 60 from 40 balls as he and Tim Paine, playing his first ODI in almost seven years, added 80 runs in less than 10 overs to help set a victory target of 305 from 50 overs.
Which proved to be nowhere near enough in the face of Roy's rampage.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith (c), Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye
England XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood
2017-18 International Fixtures
Gillette ODI Series v England
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21