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Fifth and final ODI abandoned

England win the ODI series with South Africa 4-0 after the fifth and final game of the series is abandoned because of rain.

cricket Updated: Sep 04, 2008 01:32 IST

England won the one-day series with South Africa 4-0 after the fifth and final game of the series was abandoned on Wednesday because of rain.

South Africa was struggling on 6-1 after three overs when the players were forced to leave the field at Sophia Gardens, just minutes after play had started two hours late.

Stuart Broad had Herschelle Gibbs caught behind by Matt Prior with just his third ball to leave South Africa on 3-1 and the tourists added three further runs before the rain. Repeated showers forced the umpires to abandon the game. The tourists seemed to lose motivation after securing a win in the Test series when they beat England by five wickets at Edgbaston in the third test.

That victory clinched the first series win for the South Africans in England since 1965 and prompted Michael Vaughan's resignation as England captain, but they were comfortably beaten by six wickets by new skipper Kevin Pietersen's side in the final test at The Oval, and their form in the one-day series was abject.

England, resurgent under Pietersen's leadership, comfortably won the first ODI at Leeds by 20 runs, then humiliated South Africa at Nottingham, dismissing the tourists for just 83 runs and romping to a 10-wicket victory.

The third ODI saw England record an equally emphatic 126-run win and although the tourists put in an improved display at Lord's, England still beat them by seven wickets _ a result that left them third in the International Cricket Council world rankings on 116 points, just two points behind the South Africans. England goes into the their potentially lucrative tour to Antigua in buoyant mood. Pietersen's side will play a winner-take-all game with the Stanford Superstars on Nov. 1, with US$20 million at stake. South Africa, also ranked No. 2 in the ICC's test rankings, now has to regroup ahead of its test series with the world's top-ranked side Australia in December.

The Proteas host Kenya and Bangladesh in October and November before they begin a three-test tour to Australia in Perth on Dec. 17. They then play a triangular ODI series with Australia and New Zealand before hosting the Australians in another three-test series, starting in Johannesburg on Feb. 26.