England crash out of World Cup after losing to Bangladesh
A miserable display at the Cricket World Cup will lead to calls for change – but first they must save face against Afghanistan
England are out of the World Cup after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Bangladesh. Chasing a modest 276 to win, England were dismissed for 260 at the Adelaide Oval.
The result means that England's final game of the pool stage against Afghanistan on Friday is now meaningless with both sides unable to reach the knockout phases. Instead England will return home to a barrage of press and public criticism the likes of which most of their players will never have experienced.
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen captured the nation's grim mood when, moments after the defeat, he tweeted: "I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS! I JUST CANNOT! But, well done Bangladesh! You deserved it!"
There was little sign of the drama to come when England took two quick Bangladesh wickets to leave them rocking early on in their innings. But a partnership of 86 between Sarkar and Mahmudullah was the foundation stone on which Bangladesh were able to build a respectable total. Mahmudullah went on to become the first Bangladeshi to score a World Cup century. With swashbuckling support from Mushfiqur Rahim (89 runs off 77 balls) they finished on 275 for 6 in their 50 overs.
Moeen Ali and Ian Bell made a steady start to England's innings but then Ali stupidly ran himself out when the score was 43, and this set in motion a series of calamitous events. Among the top order, only Bell made a half-century but when he was dismissed for 63, England's other batsmen failed to rise to the challenge with captain Eoin Morgan out second ball without scoring and the usually reliable Joe Root dismissed for 29.
Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes went some way to calming England's nerves with a partnership of 74 but it proved only a brief stay of execution. When Butler was dismissed for 65 by Taskin Ahmed with the score on 238, England then lost their remaining three wickets for just 22 runs leaving Woakes stranded on 42 not out.
"It was pretty poor. To be knocked out of the World Cup is unbelievably disappointing," admitted Eoin Morgan, whose form with the bat has been disastrous since assuming the captaincy from Alastair Cook. "I'm gutted. We've struggled and fallen away since we arrived here."
England cricket coach Peter Moores, who along with Morgan is unlikely to remain in his position beyond the end of this week, reflected: "It is hard to get round it. I thought 275 was chaseable and we didn't do it. It is hard to analyse anything at the moment."
As Bangladesh went off to celebrate the greatest moment in their cricketing history, England became the butt of Australian jokes. One Melbourne radio station told its listeners: "JUST IN! Bangladesh has avoided embarrassment, holding off a brave challenge from World Cup minnow England by 15 runs in Adelaide."