England v South Africa
5th One Day International, Cardiff. England lead the series 4-0
England will be looking to make it a clean sweep over the South Africans with a victory at the newly rebuilt SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff. Kevin Pietersen’s men go into the last match of the series with a 100% record under the new captain and will hope to continue this rich vein of form that has sparked what some people are calling, a revolution in English cricket.
If England do indeed triumph over the Proteas, it will complete a 5-0 whitewash which would see England leapfrog South Africa to take second place in the ODI rankings. This would be a major coup for Pietersen who seems to have given the players a new lease of life and he has urged his team to continue playing with the no fear approach. South Africa on the other hand, will have aspirations of returning home with the smallest slice of pride intact after this crushing series defeat by grabbing a consolation win to stall the England celebrations. Before the start of the series South Africa were hoping to dislodge Australia from the top position in the rankings, however an inspired England have quashed any hopes of doing so.
If England emerge from Cardiff victorious, they will claim only their second ever 5-0 series victory, the other coming against a lacklustre Zimbabwe side in 2001. Even without the whitewash, this series has proved to be a massive step in the right direction for an England side that were in disarray after the dismal Test match showing.
A rainy forecast for the fixture looks likely to force England to settle for a 4-0 win, however after this sparkling display in the ODI series, nothing could dampen the English spirit as the Pietersen era roars on.
© Cricket World 2008