Washout gives England series win

Final ODI abandoned in Durban as England wrap up South Africa series 2-1.

    Man of the series Paul Collingwood checks out the waterlogged outfield [GALLO/GETTY]
    England's final one-day international game against South Africa was abandoned in Durban without a ball being bowled, giving England a fairly anti-climatic 2-1 series win.

    The start of the game was delayed with the outfield waterlogged by downpours during the days leading up to the match and eventually abandoned following an umpires' inspection at 5 pm local time.

    The first match in the series in Johannesburg was also washed out.

    England won by seven wickets in Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, while South Africa picked up a 112-run victory in Cape Town.

    England's Paul Collingwood was named man of the series.

    He scored 193 runs at an average of 96.50, took important wickets and was one of his team's best fielders.

    'Step forward'

    England become only the second country to win a bilateral one-day series in South Africa. Australia achieved series wins in the 1996/7 and 2001/2 seasons.

    "It's a big step forward for the group," said England captain Andrew Strauss.

    "To be only the second team to win out here is an achievement to be proud of."

    "The players had to buy into trying to play a slightly more attacking brand of cricket and at the same time to up our fielding and to be more consistent with the ball.

    "I think the guys have enjoyed having the shackles taken off them to a certain extent. A lot of our one-day cricket over the last few years has been played like men under a lot of pressure.

    "A lot of the players were under pressure, playing for their places and because the results weren't very good."

    England start their four-match Test series against South Africa in Pretoria on December 16.

    South African captain Graeme Smith congratulated England on their series win and looked forward to the Test clash.

    "The last two years have been really terrific for us in Test cricket and we want to carry it on," he said.

    "England have an Ashes-winning Test squad so it bodes well for a good series."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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