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.

"One thing I always remember [Michael] Vaughan and Duncan Fletcher talking about is being in the England team there is nothing better than making history as a team and that is what you get remembered for," Bell said. "It's something we're all aware of and the fact we can also go to number two in the world makes it a great effort.

"History is something you want to be part of, and winning in Sri Lanka was a little taste of that. Any time you're involved in something like that is really special and hopefully we can create that in Cardiff."

England's only other 5-0 hammering was against Zimbabwe five years ago, yet, to emulate it against a team of the quality of South Africa would be a far greater accomplishment. Indeed, prior to this series, few gave England a chance of challenging South Africa regularly, let alone dominating them with such ruthlessness.

"I think winning 5-0 would be massive," said Bell, a member of the England side who suffered the indignity of a 5-0 whitewash against Sri Lanka on home soil two years ago.Going to number two in the world would be an unbelievable achievement in itself in just one series, but 5-0 would be right up there for me alongside beating Australia in the one-dayers and winning in Sri Lanka.

"They were good wins but we didn't play consistently good cricket like we've done in this series. This series would stand right up there for the way we've dominated the whole series in all three disciplines."

England have never let South Africa settle. Ever since their win in the Edgbaston Test, which gave them a series-win, they have lost momentum and allowed England to pounce. Only briefly have they threatened England in this series, when Herschelle Gibbs cracked a 75-ball 74 in the fourth ODI at Lord's, but England chased down a target of 137 in just 17.4 overs to remain unbeaten.

Bell's own form has been encouraging. Yet it is his partnership with the recalled Matt Prior at the top of the order which has laid a base for England this series. In contributing opening stands of 77, 85 and 101, Bell and Prior have allowed England's powerful middle-order of Owais Shah, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen to really take the game away from South Africa.

"When you look down the order and you have a powerful line-up with (Andrew) Flintoff, (Paul) Collingwood and (Luke) Wright in that lower order it gives you great confidence to back yourself that if you set a platform these guys can clear the ropes at the end," said Bell. "It looks as strong a batting line-up that I've played in during my time in the England one-day side and it gives you a lot of confidence to go out and play your way knowing you have a lot of good players down the order that can cash in during that last 10 overs."