T20 World Cup: Rain denies England and Australia as Melbourne clash washed out

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England and Australia's hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup continue to hang in the balance after their clash was washed out without a ball being bowled on Friday.

England's meeting with their rivals had been billed as a crucial game for both teams after Jos Buttler's side suffered a shock defeat to Ireland, while the hosts joined them on two points in Group 1 after losing to New Zealand and beating Sri Lanka.

Heavy rain in Melbourne resulted in a delay over of almost two hours before the abandonment was confirmed, with officials having completed two inspections of the MCG's sodden turf.

After seeing the points shared, England will now likely have to win their final two group fixtures – against New Zealand and Sri Lanka – to have any hope of reaching the last four.

Speaking to Sky Sports before it was confirmed there would be no play, Ben Stokes insisted England would relish the pressure of facing two do-or-die matches.

"It's almost going to be like playing a final every game. That's what these competitions are all about," Stokes said. "You're always under pressure to perform in these.

"You can't expect everyone to deliver all of the time, but it's just about your bouncebackability and we've generally been quite good at that."

Buttler, meanwhile, had been due to make his 100th T20I appearance on Friday, and was bitterly disappointed to see the match called off.

"It was due to be a massive occasion, we're very disappointed," Buttler told Sky Sports.

"It would have been a great place to do it, but we have full focus on our next match and keeping our tournament alive. We've been playing some good cricket leading into the tournament.

"It was a really disappointing performance the other night, but we've retained full faith in the group and have confidence in the players for the rest of the tournament."

England face New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday, one day after Australia take on Ireland at the same venue.