Man-of-the-match Finch's stunning 156, the highest individual score in all Twenty20 internationals, was the cornerstone of Australia's 248 for six, itself the second-highest team score at this level. (Agencies)
England, who wrapped up a 3-0 Ashes series win with a draw at The Oval on Sunday, unsurprisingly lost early wickets when faced with such a colossal chase and finished on 209 for six.
Victory saw Australia go 1-0 up in a two-match series that concludes in Durham on Saturday.
Australia hadn't won a major international match since a 17-run victory over the West Indies at Melbourne on February 10 saw them complete a 5-0 one-day international series clean sweep.
Finch's runs came from just 63 balls and the 26-year-old Victorian opener, playing just his seventh match at this level, comfortably surpassed the previous Twenty20 world record of 123 set by New Zealand's Brendon McCullum against Bangladesh at Pallekele in September last year.
Remarkably, Finch got off the mark, reached his 50, hundred and 150 with sixes.
Indeed his 14 sixes were also a world record for the most in any individual T20 international innings, with Finch also striking 11 fours.
Finch's century was only the 10th in all T20 internationals, the first by an Australian and the first by any batsman at this level in England.
His extraordinary innings ended when he was bowled by seamer Jade Dernach who, in the midst of the mayhem, took three wickets for 34 runs in four overs.
In view of the run-spree to come, England, who won the toss, started well when dangerman David Warner lost control of his bat as he holed out off home Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad for one.
Man-of-the-match Finch's stunning 156, the highest individual score in all Twenty20 internationals, was the cornerstone of Australia's 248 for six, itself the second-highest team score at this level.