England tour of South Africa, 5th ODI: South Africa v England at Durban, Dec 4, 2009
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
Played at Kingsmead, Durban
4 December 2009 - day/night match (50-over match)

5pm That's it, nothing left to see here. The umpires have done a lap of the ground, but it's all a bit futile. The match has been abandoned, and England have won the series 2-1. Paul Collingwood is rightly named as Man of the Series, after his inspired allround efforts set England on their way to success at Centurion.

It required two abandonments for the series to be secured, but nevertheless, England deserve the spoils, not least because of the fight they displayed in adversity. Twice they bounced back from humiliating defeats, in the second Twenty20 at Centurion, and the third ODI in Cape Town, to record resounding follow-up wins.

So, all that remains is to throw the action forward to the hugely anticipated Test series that gets underway on December 16. Keep an eye on our updates from their warm-up games in East London next week, and be sure to join us at Centurion in just under a fortnight's time. And remember, it's roughly two hours until the football World Cup draw takes place in Cape Town and our sister site Soccernet will have extensive coverage. I don't think it's raining there.

4.20pm There will be one final look at the conditions at 5pm, and if there is no chance of play then, then the match will be abandoned. Don't hold your breath ... our spies at the ground suggest that the TV crews are packing up already. And they usually know before anyone else.

3.30pm I think England can now put their coloured clothing on eBay and give the proceeds to charity, and get on with ironing their whites ahead of the Test series. The picture at Durban is a sea of drizzly greyness, with not a jot of reason to think they'll get a game in now. And so, in a slighty soggy fashion, they seem set to become only the third nation to win an ODI tournament in South Africa. (The Aussies, naturally, have managed it four times - two bilateral series, a Champions Trophy, and of course the 2003 World Cup).

3.05pm And now it is officially minging. The rain is suddenly bucketing down, and that is my cue to go and get some scoff, because there is utterly and totally nothing to see here right now.

3pm The umpires are meant to be taking a look now, but unfortunately, the covers have come back on, and I suspect that earlier brief flirt of optimism was premature. Sorry about that.

Of course, this isn't the only significant sporting event taking place in South Africa today. Down the coast at Cape Town, they are getting ready for the Football World Cup draw, which takes place in just under four hours' time. Follow the excitement at our super-dooper sister site, Soccernet.

2.45pm Now then, we have some news - insofar as the covers have managed to come off, and the pitch is playable as things stand, even though it is exceptionally green and will aid the seamers like nothing else on this tour. However, the rain is still looming, and might even be coming back right now. There is an inspection at 3pm, so let's see what transpires.

2pm Good afternoon and welcome to Cricinfo's ball-by-ball commentary from the fifth and final one-day international between England and South Africa at Durban, where I'm afraid the news is not good. Kingsmead is a quagmire after a week of incessant rain, and the prospect of play is not remotely promising.

England lead the series 2-1, and a washout would hand them their first series victory in four visits to South Africa, although the word is that South Africa, understandably, are keen to keep us guessing for a while yet, with a view to getting a 20-over match underway sometime this evening. We will keep you posted, of course, but it's fair to say there's not a lot to see here just yet.

In the meantime, you'd be far better served by checking out the fantastic Test action taking place in Adelaide, Wellington and Mumbai. And check out this comment piece from our editor, Sambit Bal, who suggests that Virender Sehwag is a more destructive batsman than even the great Sir Vivian Richards. We like a good debate at Cricinfo ...






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