England slumped to 59 for three inside 16 overs before rain washed out the day/night third one-day international against Australia at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Mitchell Johnson again proved a thorn in England's side, the left-arm paceman taking one wicket for 20 runs in five overs and twice seeing close lbw decisions against Jonathan Trott overturned in the batsman's favour.
When the umpires took the players off the field at 3:34pm local time (1434GMT), Trott was 28 not out on his Warwickshire home ground and stand-in England captain Eoin Morgan five not out.
A minimum of 20 overs per side were needed for a result to be declared under the Duckworth/Lewis method but, with the rain coming down ever harder, the umpires abandoned the match at 7:05pm (1805GMT).
The no result left Australia, who won the second ODI by a crushing 88 runs at Old Trafford on Sunday, 1-0 up with two play and knowing victory in the fourth match at Cardiff on Saturday would see them win the series.
"We started really pretty well today again with Mitch and Clint (McKay), so it was disappointing that the rain came in like it did," Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade told reporters.
"The positive is we're 1-0 up. We've lost two games (to the weather) with two to play so it'd be nice to get a win there (Cardiff) and wrap up the series."
Meanwhile Morgan said England needed to improve.
"It's a semi-final and final for us. That's the way we're going to treat it. We need to come out and up our game, our intensity and play well."
Earlier, Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to field.
Ashes-holders England, criticised by former captain Michael Vaughan for resting five senior players -- regular skipper Alastair Cook, batsman Ian Bell and bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann -- this series, were unchanged from the side beaten so heavily in Manchester.
But the overcast conditions led Australia to select seamer Josh Hazlewood in place of leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed.
Kevin Pietersen, opening alongside Michael Carberry in the absence of Cook and Bell, whipped the fourth ball of the innings, from McKay, for a boundary through midwicket.
However, two balls later, England lost their first wicket.
Carberry, desperate for runs after making just 10 against Ireland and four at Old Trafford following his international recall, was run out by yards when Pietersen set off for a needlessly tight single only for McKay to gather the ball and run in to demolish the stumps.
Pietersen then fell for six when he failed to get over the top of a Johnson bouncer and pulled a gentle catch straight to George Bailey at square leg.
Trott was on 13 when he was given out lbw to Johnson after aiming across the line. But he reviewed English umpire Michael Gough's verdict and was reprieved when the Decision Review System (DRS) indicated the ball had just pitched outside leg stump.
Johnson then challenged Gough's decision when Trott, now on 20, was given not out in response to the Australian's lbw appeal only for an 'umpire's call' ruling to rescue the South Africa-born batsman.
Trott was then hit on the grille of his helmet when he missed an attempted pull off a Johnson bouncer under the glare of the floodlights.
Joe Root on-drove Hazlewood for a textbook four but had made just 12 when he chipped a simple return catch to Adam Voges as the left-arm spinner struck with his third ball.