England exploit SA failings
It has been a very long time since I have seen an England one-day team play with this current level of confidence.
There have been moments of short-lived success scattered through the past couple of decades, but generally England's record has been thoroughly disappointing.
Am I the only one who now feels that we just might be on the threshold of enjoying something really special?
The team has been transformed, primarily by the return of Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison. To have two front-line fast bowlers delivering at 90 miles per hour as first and second change is something any captain would die for, while Flintoff's batting finally appears to have turned a corner - in this form of the game, at least.
Kevin Pietersen's natural enthusiasm, combined with the inevitable excitement of a new captain, has also helped lift the performance of the players.
We are still to see him under the cosh in the field really to assess his ability to think clearly and incisively under pressure - and that is one area where this series has been such a disappointment so far because, let's be honest, South Africa have been absolutely dreadful.
It is no longer an excuse to say that they have lost focus after the Test series. They have had more than enough time to get their minds back on the job.
Serious questions should be asked about Graeme Smith and Mickey Arthur's apparent inability to lift the morale of their team, and having been feeling on top of the world after the Edgbaston Test, they now rightly face accusations of unprofessionalism.
England must take great credit for not allowing South Africa to regroup, too. At The Oval on Friday, there was just a moment where things might have faltered as they slipped from 101-0 to 182-5.
But Flintoff batted with great common sense again and, for the first time, we were able to take a proper look at Samit Patel's no-nonsense approach to batting. He looks a good pick to me; he's a confident young man and certainly more than a 'bits and pieces' all-rounder of the type we have seen introduced to England teams in years gone by.
His bowling has variety, too and the dismissal of Albie Morkel came through a classic piece of left-arm spin. Having been hit twice for six, the temptation might have been to fire the ball into Morkel's pads, but Patel flighted it into the rough outside the left hander's off stump, Morkel mistimed his firm push and Patel took a fine caught and bowled - it was intelligent and confident bowling.
KP now wants a 5-0 whitewash, and the way both teams are playing I wouldn't bet against it.