END OF OVER:
3 | 3 Runs | SA: 6/1 | RR: 2.00

  • Jacques Kallis0 (5b)
  • Hashim Amla3 (6b)
  • James Anderson2-0-6-0
  • Stuart Broad1-1-0-1

7.02 pm: And the game's off. The weather has been ghastly all day apart from a short interval during which we had three overs of play. England take the series 4-0 but they don't move up to No. 2 in the rankings. They needed a 5-0 sweep for that. It is still a memorable success for Kevin Pietersen in his first full series in charge. Not many people gave England a chance coming into the contest, but they have swept all before them. The real test will be how they perform in India, during November, and that should be a fascinating series.

Well that's just about that for the English international season. Some of the players now get a long break before the Stanford Super Series in late October, while some go back to their counties for the thrilling finish of the Championship season. From everyone who has provided commentary over the summer (or what passed as one at any rate) it's goodbye.

7.00 pm: The latest play can start is around 8.00 pm and the weather hasn't improved so we're close to an abandonment.

6.40 pm: Right, while we wait for the last rites of this sorry contest, here's something to perk you all up - one last chance to win a signed copy of Marcus Trescothick's autobiography. The winners will be announced in the coming days.

By the way, there's hardly anyone at the Sophia Gardens now. It's bucketing down.

5.47 pm: Rain seems to have stopped AGAIN. A lot of covers still on, some mopping up going on, but it will still be a while before anymore action.

Julian's dug up a gem from the archives. Nasser Hussain rated Pietersen way back in 1999.

"I've never bowled 55 overs in an innings in my life but I enjoyed bowling every ball," said a tired but happy Pietersen shortly after play was abandoned due to bad light with nine overs still to be bowled. "Before the match I set goals for myself. The first was to go for about two-and-a-half runs an over and pick up one or two wickets. The second was to try and get three or four wickets in the second innings. Nasser actually chatted to me out on the field, and he said he wanted to have a chat to me after the game. Obviously, I'm thrilled by his interest. It was really competitive out there and I really had to think on my feet all the time."

Peter Roebuck has written an excellent article on Pietersen. If you like this story you could share it with friends by clicking on the button at the bottom.

"In regard to Peter Roebuck's comments relating to Pietersen, I feel that only after Pietersen has had a 'baptism of fire' in the forthcoming Indian series, can he be truly judged as a captain, and not before then," says Jack.

5.35 pm: Well, hopes of starting at 5.45 pm have flown out of the window. It's pelting down now.

"If this match is rained off, does England go second in the world rankings because we will have won the series without losing a game - or do we have to score five actual victories to go second?" asks Graham. It has to be 5-0.

5.15 pm: They are inspecting "but the square looks as brown as mud," says Andrew. However, the weather is brighter. Play will restart at 5.45 pm. The covers are back on, though, another shower might be on the way.

4.52 pm: The rain has eased but it's rather wet underfoot. The umpires - Mr Taufel and Mr Llong - are having a look. They've decided to inspect the conditions once again at 5.15 pm.

"Wales averages 4.9 inches of rainfall in the month of September, while England averages 2.9 inches. What did they expect?" asks David who went to Wikipedia to look up that information.

4.43 pm: And It's begun to rain. The players have gone off and the groundstaff are bringing on the covers. It's quite a heavy shower. The are taking a while to cover the pitch and the square.

"This is utterly filthy, and the covers are nowhere near on," adds Andrew. "And lo and behold, there's blue sky rolling in. This summer is crazy."

You could spend the break watching Cricinfo TV.

2.6
0
Anderson to Kallis, no run, good length from Anderson outside off stump, Kallis moves towards the line of the ball before lifting his arms out of the way
2.5
0
Anderson to Kallis, no run, Anderson swings the ball into the right-hander from outside off stump, Kallis defends on the front foot towards point
2.4
1
Anderson to Amla, 1 run, pushed towards mid-on for a single

It's got dark at Sophia Gardens. "Armageddon is about to tap us on the shoulder," says Andrew

2.3
0
Anderson to Amla, no run, Amla moves forward and defends a good length ball towards the off side
2.2
0
Anderson to Amla, no run, short of a length outside off stump, Amla sees the width and tries to cut the ball hard through point, he doesn't make contact
2.1
2
Anderson to Amla, 2 runs, Anderson is a bit straight and Amla uses the angle into him to flick the ball through midwicket

The sun's disappeared behind a few clouds now.

END OF OVER:
2 | (wicket maiden) | SA: 3/1 | RR: 1.50

  • Jacques Kallis0 (3b)
  • Hashim Amla0 (2b)
  • Stuart Broad1-1-0-1
  • James Anderson1-0-3-0
1.6
0
Broad to Kallis, no run, that's a wicket maiden from Broad, the last ball was a good one on middle stump, Kallis moves back and plays it towards midwicket
1.5
0
Broad to Kallis, no run, this time the line is straight so Kallis has to play at the ball, he defends on the front foot
1.4
0
Broad to Kallis, no run, Broad pitches on a good length just outside off stump and slants the ball into the right-hander, Kallis strides forward and lets the ball go

That's the end of Gibbs' poor series, and here comes someone else who has been out of form, Jacques Kallis.

1.3
W
Broad to Gibbs, OUT, caught, and superbly caught! The ball is on a length wide outside off stump, Gibbs tries to drive through cover but the ball is far away from him and he hardly moves his feet, he gets a thick edge that flies quickly towards first slip, it doesn't get to first slip, however, for Prior dives full stretch to his right to take a one-handed catch

HH Gibbs c †Prior b Broad 3 (5m 7b 0x4 0x6) SR: 42.85

1.2
0
Broad to Gibbs, no run, defended on the front foot towards the off side
1.1
0
Broad to Gibbs, no run, he spears in the yorker on middle stump, Gibbs jabs down at it and hits the ball on to his foot, it passes oh so close to the leg stump

Stuart Broad will share the new ball, bowling from over the wicket. Two slips for him as well.

END OF OVER:
1 | 3 Runs | SA: 3/0 | RR: 3.00

  • Hashim Amla0 (2b)
  • Herschelle Gibbs3 (4b)
  • James Anderson1-0-3-0
0.6
0
Anderson to Amla, no run, good length on off stump, Amla moves on to the front foot and defends towards point
0.5
0
Anderson to Amla, no run, Amla strides forward and lets the ball go outside off stump
0.4
1
Anderson to Gibbs, 1 run, too full and the line is on middle and leg, Gibbs leans across and flicks the ball towards long leg
0.3
0
Anderson to Gibbs, no run, played off the back foot towards point
0.2
0
Anderson to Gibbs, no run, good length on off and middle stump, Gibbs stays in his crease and defends towards the bowler

Two slips in place. Anderson is running into a strong wind.

0.1
2
Anderson to Gibbs, 2 runs, the line is a bit straight on middle stump, Gibbs gets going with a neat flick off his pads through midwicket, the outfield is expectedly on the slower side

4.30 pm: The ground has filled in nicely despite the poor weather though there are plenty of empty seats still. We've got sunshine for the moment. James Anderson will open the bowling for England. Herschelle Gibbs and Hashim Amla are the openers. Nigel Llong and Simon Taufel are the umpires for this game.

Remember it's a 43-overs-a-side game with 17 overs of Powerplay.

4.20pm So we are keeping all over fingers crossed that the rain holds off. There's some blue sky at the moment and it's about 10 minutes before play starts. George Binoy will be here to take you through the action.

4.05pm England have won the toss and decided to bowl. It may have been a slightly tough decision with the run chase being under lights but Kevin Pietersen says he wants to keep the pressure on South Africa.

South Africa: 1 Herschelle Gibbs, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis (capt), 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 Justin Ontong, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Johan Botha, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Andre Nel, 11 Dale Steyn

Justin Ontong gets his first match of the series in place of Vernon Philander.

There will now be 17 overs of Powerplays, split into spells of nine, four and four overs.

3.55pm Good news folks. If there is no more rain play will start at 4.30pm with 43 overs per side, so we haven't lost much cricket so far.

England have named in unchanged team again: 1 Ian Bell, 2 Matt Prior (wk), 3 Owais Shah, 4 Kevin Pietersen (capt), 5 Andrew Flintoff, 6 Paul Collingwood, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Luke Wright, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Steve Harmison, 11 James Anderson

3.25pm Assuming the match ever gets underway, we are reliably informed that the Slazenger-sponsored players on show - Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Jacques Kallis and Matt Prior - will all be using red, white and green bat grips tomorrow to support the grassroots charity, Chance to Shine. So now you know

3.15pm Here's Andrew: "The conditions have eased for the moment, but it'll be a long while yet before the pitch is fit - it was so saturated anyway." So not great news, but at least the rain has stopped.

3.00pm It's a pretty dismal scene now, the rain is hammering down. Suffice to say the inspection didn't take place. Play looks a long way off now

2.50pm Andrew Miller informs us that it has started raining. That's a blow for everyone, especially the people who have worked hard to get the ground ready.

Meanwhile, you can watch Cricinfo Sportscenter and other exclusive videos on Cricinfo TV.

2.40pm While you're waiting for the inspection to take place, why not sponsor a good cause?. A posse of English cricket writers, headed by the Express correspondent, Colin Bateman, and the Evening Standard's David Lloyd, are soon to embark on a bicycle tour of the 18 first-class counties. Have a read of this tale of blazing saddles, and click on the links at the bottom of the page.

Some disappointing news from the ground where the covers are going on. That's not a great sign. We will keep you posted with any developments.

2.10pm Kevin Pietersen has made a great start as captain and Peter Roebuck has written a fascinating piece on England's new leader. If you like this story you could share it with friends by clicking on the button at the bottom.

And some more news from the ground. There will be an inspection at 2.45pm, the umpires are concerned about some damp areas on the outfield.

1.55pm There is going to be a delay to the scheduled start of 2.30pm, unfortunately, because the ground is not yet deemed fit for play. That is bad news for the growing crowd, who are already being subjected to a searingly cold wind blowing in from the west. Hopefully there's no bad weather coming in with it.

1.25pm SWALEC Stadium, as the ground would desperately like to be known), for the fifth and final ODI between England and South Africa. This contest is a dead-rubber with a difference. England are one win away from inflicting a 5-0 whitewash on their illustrious opponents, and if they can pull it off, they will climb to the dizzying heights of No. 2 in the world. It's hard to believe, I know, but that's what the inpenetrable workings of the ICC Rankings would have us believe, and who are we to argue?

One major obstacle will be the weather, which - not to put too fine a point on it - is forecasted to be dismal. And yet, with an hour to go until the start of play, there are beautiful blue skies hanging over Cardiff. All that could change with unseemly haste of course, but for the time being the omens are good.

There's not much of a crowd as yet - still plenty time to roll out of the nearby pubs - but both sides are out there warming up. England are playing rugby, and South Africa football, which is something of a cultural switch. Team news as and when we get it.

  • Arthur prepares for clean slate

    South Africa's coach, Mickey Arthur, has hinted that some of his senior members may have played their last one-day internationals

  • 4-0 to England after Cardiff washout

    England's hopes of securing a 5-0 whitewash over South Africa were denied by the Welsh rain, as the fifth and final ODI at Cardiff was abandoned after only three overs of play

  • England v South Africa, 5th ODI, Cardiff

    Match home for the fifth ODI between England and South Africa

  • Pietersen demands self-improvement

    Is there ever a bad time to be offered £500,000 for three hours' work? Publicly, Kevin Pietersen would never admit that the Stanford contest, which is now looming large in England's sights, is an unwanted distraction, but privately he might actually

  • Bell eyes 5-0 whitewash

    Ahead of the fifth and final ODI in Cardiff, Ian Bell is determined England create history by whitewashing South Africa 5-0, a scoreline that will propel them to the heights of No.2 in the world rankings