England defeated Australia by 16 runs in the third one day worldwide at the Sydney Cricket Ground Sunday to clinch their five-game series with two games to spare and hand the world champions their first ODI series defeat at home since 2010.
His efforts nearly denied Buttler the chance of a fifth ODI ton but he dashed through for two from the last ball of the innings to claim his just reward. The captain nicked behind to Buttler off Wood, with the England wicketkeeper taking a fantastic catch and the decision standing after the third umpire had watched multiple replays to check if the ball had carried.
When Buttler came to the crease in the 23rd over, England were precariously placed on 107-4 at the SCG. He hit three sixes in the final five overs.
Jos Buttler's unbeaten 100 took England to 302/6 in 50 overs even as the hosts kept taking wickets at regular intervals. On a two-paced wicket, he paced it to perfection, played the anchor until about five or six overs out. His late surge enabled England to reach a total which had seemed out of their reach until the final few overs.
Buttler had no hesitation claiming the catch and Smith's initial reaction was to start walking off the field as umpires convened and gave a soft call of "out" before referring the final decision upstairs.
Marsh looked to counter attack by targeting Adil Rashid, but holed out to long on off the leg-spinner - who earlier trapped the unsafe Finch lbw - leaving Australia having to rebuild when they should have been accelerating.
But Cummins conceded an astonishing 24 runs from the last with Buttler smashing two sixes and a four in successive balls.
Jonny Bairstow (39) was then bowled after failing to pick Zampa's googly - the leg-spinner recalled after being dropped despite a turning pitch for the last match at Brisbane - before Hazlewood returned to remove Joe Root, who chopped on after scoring 27.
Australia recalled pacemen Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood for the match, the first time in the one-day series that the trio of Cummins, Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, who spearheaded the Ashes win, had been reunited.
But after Morgan and Buttler had patiently rebuilt the innings, Australia's bowlers had no answer to the inventive and aggressive late assault.
"I think I'll probably do it for the rest of the series", Smith said, after having batted at No.3 since mid-2016.
Australia skipper Steve Smith: "We were chasing 30 too many and we couldn't get that momentum going".
England ODI captain Eoin Morgan said Buttler had engineered of the best wins he'd been part of.
"I've got to play some better cricket".
Good tight bowling from the tourists though meant that the Aussies needed 24 runs from the final over to win the game.