World champions England, set 295 for victory, finished on 275-9 as Australia defeated their arch-rivals for just the third time in 14 ODIs.
Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood reduced the hosts to 22-2 on his way to 3-26 before leg-spinner Adam Zampa (4-55) struck twice in two overs to leave England in dire straits at 57-4.
But Sam Billings, one of just two players in England’s XI who didn’t appear in last year’s World Cup final win, hit 118 – a maiden ODI hundred – after his fifth-wicket partnership of 113 with opener Jonny Bairstow (84) gave the hosts hope of an unlikely victory.
Earlier Australia, in their first match at this level against England since a World Cup semi-final loss last year, made 294-9.
They were in trouble at 123-5 before a sixth-wicket stand of 126 between all-rounders Glenn Maxwell (77) and Mitchell Marsh (73) gave their bowlers enough runs to defend.
The three-match day/night series continues at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Australia 294-9, 50 overs (G Maxwell 77, M Marsh 73; M Wood 3-54, J Archer 3-57)
England 275-9, 50 overs (S Billings 118, J Bairstow 84; A Zampa 4-55, J Hazlewood 3-26)
Result: Australia won by 19 runs
Series: Australia lead three-match series 1-0