Moeen Ali featured in a century opening stand and picked up two major wickets in England's Tri-Series clash with Australia in Hobart.
The Worcestershire all-rounder helped England total 303-8 in 50 overs after they had been put into bat.
But an unbeaten 102 off 95 balls from ex Worcestershire T20 player Steve Smith saw Australia to a three wicket win with one ball to spare.
Moeen scored 46 off 48 balls with three sixes and three fours and shared in a partnership of 113 in 18 overs with Ian Bell.
His three sixes came off successive deliveries from Australian paceman Pat Cummins, all via pull shots.
He was eventually dismissed when coming down the wicket to James Faulkner and top-edging a comfortable catch to short cover.
Bell went onto make 141 and England were well placed at 253-2 in the 42nd over but were pulled back in the latter part of their innings.
Moeen made his first breakthrough with the ball in his first over – the 12th – when Aaron Finch (32) slogged across the line and was bowled.
His second victim was Glenn Maxwell (37) who holed out to Joe Root at long on.
Australia were then 161-4 in the 27th over with the game evenly poised and Moeen completed his 10 overs with figures of 2-50.
But Smith, who played T20 cricket at New Road in 2010, continued his golden run of form and led his country to the win that ensures their place in the final.