Adelaide - Australia failed to build on the foundation provided by opener Shane Watson in the Twenty20 international against England at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.
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In their first clash since the tourists completed the historic 3-1 Ashes win over Australia in Sydney last week, the home side looked set for a big total after reaching 76-0 after eight overs in the replay of last year's World Twenty20 final won by England.
However, the home side battled from there to finish on 157-4.
On what appeared a perfect batting wicket, Watson set the scene for a much bigger score by hitting 59 off just 31 balls.
The right-hander smashed Graeme Swann for three successive sixes from the first three balls of the eighth over, taking 26 off the spinner's first over.
Watson and David Warner, who made 30 from 28 but never looked in good touch, put on 83 at the top of the order.
However, when Watson was clean bowled as he backed away against spinner Michael Yardy, Australia lost their momentum.
With Yardy picking up 2-28, none of the other Australian batsmen were able to master the English attack.
David Hussey struggled with his timing before falling for 28, while new captain Cameron White, taking over from Michael Clarke, made just six.
England are aiming for a record eighth straight T20 international win in the match.
In-form batsman Ian Bell was recalled to play his first T20 match for England since 2008, while Chris Woakes made his debut, with Australia naming Aaron Finch for his debut and the Victorian making 15 not out.
The two teams meet again on Friday at the MCG, before playing a seven-match one-day series.