The fourth day of the final Investec Ashes Test was washed out without a ball bowled, all but assuring a 3-0 series win for England.

Having poured down at the Kia Oval overnight, rain was present at the scheduled start time of 11am and did not let up for any significant period with a final heavy shower leading to an abandonment at 4.05pm.

With England 247 for four in their first innings - responding to Australia's 492 for nine declared - and mixed weather forecast again on the final day the prospects of a result are vritually nil.

That would be a source of frustration to the tourists, who would have welcomed the chance to press for a first win in nine Tests, but will barely bother England.

For them, avoiding a single defeat in an Ashes series for the first time since 1977 is a handy enough prize.

Indeed, the only obvious incentive to play on Sunday - and the saturated outfield may prove problematic to that even if the skies hold - lies with Ian Bell.

He has three centuries in the series and, with 29 not out to his name, the prospect of pushing for a fourth must hold significant allure.