|ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Group 1, Melbourne|
|Australia v England abandoned|
#England’s highly-anticipated Men’s T20 World Cup match against Australia in Melbourne was washed out without a ball being bowled leaving Group 1 wide open.
England will likely have to win their last two games to progress although even that may not be enough.
They are currently third in the table, level on points with New Zealand and Ireland, whose game against Afghanistan was washed out earlier in the day.
Australia also have three points but are in fourth on net run-rate.
Afghanistan are bottom with two no-results and a defeat but still have a slim hope of progressing.
England’s chances were thrown into peril by their shock loss to Ireland on Tuesday and would have been all-but out of the tournament had they lost to Ashes rivals Australia, with a crowd of 60,000 expected for one of the tournament’s showpiece games.
The hosts would also have effectively been out had they lost.
But persistent afternoon rain left the outfield saturated and, despite a two-hour period without rain, the match was called off to boos from those inside the ground at 20:48 local time.
What does this mean for England’s chances?
England next play New Zealand on Tuesday in Brisbane before meeting Sri Lanka in Sydney on Saturday 5 November.
Their simplest route to a top-two finish would be to win both games and hope Australia do not overhaul their sizeable net run-rate advantage in games against Ireland and Afghanistan.
In England’s favour is the fact their meeting with Sri Lanka is the last in the group so, if they can overcome the Black Caps, Jos Buttler’s side will have a clear picture of the net run-rate requirements.
Ireland will still hope to qualify, although their remaining games are difficult encounters against Australia and New Zealand.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka meet on Saturday in Sydney. The winner will take pole position at the top of the group.
There have now been four matches in the tournament to finish without a result because of the weather.
Melbourne has been dogged by the La Nina weather pattern, which has caused serious flooding in parts of Victoria.
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