Stuart Broad was proud of the fight England put up in going down by just 39 runs after Aaron Finch’s 63-ball 156 powered Australia to 248 for six in the first Twenty20 international at the Ageas Bowl.
From 42 for two in the fifth over, the hosts could have folded. However, Joe Root’s limited-overs best of 90 not out from 49 deliveries kept Australia sweating.
Root’s innings also laid down something of a marker for Saturday’s other format meeting between the teams at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Today’s game was dominated by 26-year-old Finch, who made the highest T20I score as he beat Brendon McCullum’s pervious mark by 33 runs on an admittedly flat track.
"I think the batsmen want to pitch a tent up and the bowlers have their passport in their pocket ready for Durham,” joked England skipper Broad after the record 457-run contest.
"It was special striking from Finch, to hit 14 sixes in an innings. I think we can say we tried everything at him as well; he just played everything fantastically well.
"In Twenty20 cricket that can happen. He made it his day in quite spectacular fashion, but I'm very proud of the guys who showed up in our side and fell just short of our highest international score.
“It would have been very easy to be 100 all out there and fallen down. The crowd would have gone unhappy. There's certainly 11 disappointed English guys but the crowd have had a fantastic day with 460-odd runs.
"We're disappointed we haven't won but it was a cracking game of Twenty20 cricket."
Broad paid tribute to Root, whose innings was more impressive considering the early blow on the helmet he took from Josh Hazlewood that dislodged a tooth.
"It makes his knock even better. He’s got over an inch laceration inside his mouth which is quite a nasty one. He’s being treated now,” Broad said.
“I don’t know the treatment he'll need but he was spitting out quite a bit of blood. It's not the first blow he's had to his face; I'm sure he'll get over it."
Australia captain George Bailey could only marvel at Finch's one-man demolition.
"It was pretty extraordinary," he said. "I can only think of Chris Gayle in the Indian Premier League who has done that.
"We spoke to him about hitting sixes, telling him not to try and hit them 40 rows back. As it was, he hit them 40 rows back!"
Finch added: "It was one of those things, one of those days. The wicket was flat and it made it easier for stroke play. It was nice to get a few early and build on it."