Joe Clarke was responsible for three dismissals but then dismissed for a golden duck as the North went down by 20 runs to the South in Abu Dhabi to suffer a 3-0 whitewash in a rain-affected climax to the series.

The Worcestershire wicket-keeper batsman brought about two stumpings – of Daniel Bell-Drummond and Lewis Gregory – and also caught Dawid Malan as the South were restricted to 228-8 in 40 overs.

But then he perished first ball – bowled by Mason Crane – as the leg spinner helped bring about a spectacular collapse by the North from 146-2 to 208 all out.

Crane finished with 4-39 from his full quots of eight overs as the South followed up their double success in Dubai.

The North seemed on course for victory in a game restricted to 40 overs per side by rare desert rain.

Ben Duckett (37) provided a flying start and Sam Hain (44) and Liam Livingstone (50) shared a mature third-wicket stand of 67.

But Crane, the 20-year-old Hampshire leg-spinner who recently became the first overseas player to represent New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield since Imran Khan, then offered further evidence of his exciting potential.

He took four wickets for one run in the space of 10 balls under the floodlights at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Hain, Clarke and Jack Leaning were bowled and Livingstone was lured down the pitch and smartly stumped by Ben Foakes.

Despite another battling innings from Tim Bresnan, the North tail was polished off by Toby Roland-Jones and Tom Curran.

Other performances of note in the tightest contest of the series included 81 from Bell-Drummond, continuing the good List A form which has brought him a Lions century in Sri Lanka and 92 not out in the first North-South contest in Dubai.

Toby Roland-Jones underlined his all-round value by thumping an unbeaten 43 from 24 balls to give the South important lower-order runs, while Mark Wood continued his encouraging comeback after ankle surgery by taking two for 38.

The North spinners Josh Poysden and Graeme White both impressed – Poysden taking three for 55, and White claiming James Vince and Bell-Drummond as classic slow-left-arm victims.

The game was delayed by almost four hours by steady morning rain, and North captain Keaton Jennings chose to bowl when he won his third toss of the series.

Both teams were forced to make one change, with Sam Northeast ruled out for the South after feeling a twinge in his hamstring when making a century in the second game in Dubai on Sunday, and Durham all-rounder Paul Coughlin unavailable after suffering cramp in his hamstring during that game.

The South also recalled Lewis Gregory in place of his Somerset team-mate Tim Groenewald, with Crane replacing Northeast, while the North brought back White in addition to Wood, with Nottinghamshire’s Harry Gurney dropping out.

Wickets fell steadily on a tricky pitch, but Bell-Drummond again displayed patience and skill to hold things together before Roland-Jones provided those much-needed late runs.

Duckett responded by whacking 37 from 17 balls with seven fours and a six, but Roland-Jones prevented him from inflicting any further damage, and Liam Dawson produced another tidy spell of left-arm spin before Crane’s match-winning burst.