With a thrilling eight-run win in Perth on Sunday, England took a one-match lead in their three-match Twenty20 series against Australia.
After being set an imposing 209 for victory, Australia looked like pulling off an unlikely win thanks to a fine 73 from David Warner and some big hitting from Marcus Stoinis.
While Australia threatened several times, the English were able to strike at crucial times to maintain their lead.
“Australia played really well; they put a lot of pressure on us,” Buttler said.
“We were favourites for much of that chase, and we needed to take wickets, which we did.”
As Australia rested pace trio Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood, as well as leg spinner Adam Zampa, Hales blasted 84 runs off 51 balls and Buttler 68 off 32 deliveries.
Their replacements were unable to cope with England’s opening pair’s powerful stroke play, which included 20 fours and seven sixes.
Buttler, who returned to the side after a two-month injury layoff, showed no signs of rust as he and Hales smashed 50 off the first five overs and reached the century in the ninth.
Nathan Ellis was the standout bowler, finishing with 3-20 on a batting-friendly wicket with a lightning-fast outfield.
Australia got off to a bad start in the second over when Cameron Green was caught behind off Reece Topley.
Warner and Mitchell Marsh took up the attack and stayed on target until Marsh was bowled on 36 by an Adil Rashid wrong’un, leaving Australia 86-2 after 8.3 overs.
Captain Aaron Finch was run out for 12, but Warner kept the Australians in the game with a pull shot over mid-wicket off Rashid.
Stoinis, who smashed 35 off 15 balls before holing out to Dawid Malan at deep cover off Wood, joined him.
Three balls later, Wood struck again, with the dangerous Tim David falling for a duck, caught at backward square leg, leaving Australia 158-5.
He then put England firmly in charge by catching Warner at backward point.
Australia were 173-6 after 17 overs, needing 36 runs off the final three overs, and despite some late hitting from Matthew Wade (21), the target proved too much.
“We got ourselves into a position where we should have won the game,” Finch said.