Rain denies England shot at No.1 ODI ranking

Third ODI versus Australia is a wash out.

BIRMINGHAM (AFP): England's hopes of becoming the world's number top-ranked one-day international side (ODI) during their series against Australia were ended after rain washed out the third ODI here Wednesday.

The match at Edgbaston was abandoned without a ball being bowled, with England 2-0 up in the five-match series.

However, England had to sweep this contest 5-0 to replace current table-toppers Australia at the head of the 50-over standings and so become the first team to be number one in all three formats, with the side already number one in Test and Twenty20 cricket.

The umpires had hoped to get a reduced 28 overs per side match underway at 6pm local time (1700GMT) but fresh rain saw them decide that the minimum 20 overs pers side needed to constitute a match would not be possible and the fixture was abandoned at 6.11pm (1711GMT).

Soon afterwards, sun broke through and a rainbow was seen above the ground.

This washout means England cannot now lose the series, which continues at Chester-le-Street, the home of north-east county Durham, on Saturday.

But it also meant another financial hit for Edgbaston-based Warwickshire, who last month saw three out of the five days scheduled for the third Test against the West Indies at their headquarters ground washed out completely.