England ended a run of nine straight losses to Australia with a stunning 92-run win over the world champions in a tri-series one-day international on Friday.
Irish-born batsman Ed Joyce belted 107 and Ian Bell made 51 to help England make an imposing total of 292 for seven from their 50 overs, just a week after they bowled out for 110.
Australia could only manage 200 in reply, bowled out in the 39th over after Matthew Hayden top scored with 51 and Andrew Symonds made 39 before retiring hurt with a bicep injury.
England's surprise win, which followed five straight defeats in the Ashes test series, losing a one-off Twenty/20 matches, then three one-dayers to Australia, suddenly opens up the prospect of them reaching the finals if they can win the last game against New Zealand next week.
"It's taken a while to come," England captain Andrew Flintoff said at the post-match presentation.
"We had a point to prove. We wanted to beat Australia and if we didn't do it tonight that night have been our last chance."
Australia's defeat was their first in any form of the game since the preliminary rounds of last year's Champions Trophy in India but they only had themselves to blame after a strangely subdued performance.
The loss of captain Ricky Ponting before the toss did not help but they were sloppy in the field, dropping several catches and bowling 19 wides. Their chances of winning ended when Symonds retired hurt.
Joyce, who was called into the squad when Kevin Pietersen broke a rib earlier in the series, was dropped on six by Shaun Tait and then again by Symonds on 59 but survived to record his first hundred.
The 28-year-old struck 10 boundaries in his 142-ball innings to surpass his previous high score of 66 and lay the foundations for England to rack up their best score of the series.
Joyce shared a 111-run partnership with Bell for the second wicket after the pair came together when opener Mal Loye was dismissed following a nasty head knock.
Loye needed three stitches to close a gash in his chin after being hit in the face by paceman Glenn McGrath.
The 34-year-old opener called for medical treatment after ducking into a bouncer and although he decided to continue batting, he was out for 29 from the next delivery he faced.
Bell was also dismissed by McGrath after reaching his fifty off 58 balls, triggering a minor collapse as six wickets went for 105.
Australia made a terrible reply when stand-in skipper Adam Gilchrist was bowled first ball by Liam Plunkett then Brad Hodge dragged a ball onto his stumps for one.
Hayden and Symonds steadied the innings with a 71-run stand for the fourth wicket but their departures signalled the end for the Australians.