ENGLAND went out of the World Cup today at the first stage.
They lost by 15 runs to Bangladesh in the latest routine disaster of a thoroughly miserable tournament in which they have constantly looked to be adrift in the modern one-day game.
Immediate and pertinent questions will be asked about the roles of Peter Moores, the coach who returned to the job for the second time less than a year ago, and his direct boss, Paul Downton, the managing director of England cricket, who appointed him.
England have lost four of their five matches so far, managing to defeat Scotland in what was far from an overwhelming show of force.
For the rest, they have been outsmarted, lacking skill, tenacity and the composure needed to produce telling displays when it matters.
Sacking the former captain, Alastair Cook, with only weeks to go, was hardly the move of a confident outfit, however, and his replacement Eoin Morgan has patently been unable to halt an inexorable slide to disaster.
Morgan was one of several batsmen to make a crass choice of stroke as innings foundered. Chasing 275 to win, the consensus was that it should be straightforward considering the quality of the pitch and modern fielding regulations.
Instead, England squandered a positive start as player after player looked to be overcome by the occasion.
It started with Moeen Ali's error of judgement in wandering out of his crease, thinking a single might be available after he struck the ball to mid-off.
By the time he turned to regain his ground, the ball had been hurled accurately back and Moeen's despairing dive could not save him.
Alex Hales, who at last came into the side for Gary Ballance, crunched his first ball through the covers for four but never seemed truly comfortable afterwards.
He drove flat-footedly at a ball from Bangladesh's veteran captain, Mashrafe Mortaza and was caught behind by Mushfiqur Rahim.
With Ian Bell still in occupation all still looked well but his forcing shot also ended up in Mushfiqur's hands.
Morgan then fell to an old-fashioned leg trap third ball, hooking Rubel Hossain to deep square leg where Shakib al Hasan was positioned for precisely that purpose.
James Taylor's dismissal, edging a forcing shot to slip, meant that England had lost three wickets for 11 in 22 balls. It hardly improved as Joe Root edged a drive to the keeper. England's last hope seemed to lie with Jos Buttler.
y He was in full, assertive joyous flow and, had he, stayed victory would have been achieved.
But in trying to glide to third man he gave Mushfiqur his fourth catch.
Next ball, Chris Jordan was run out trying to steal a single. Realising it was not on, he turned for his crease. It took three minutes for replays to show that his outstretched bat was not grounded.
Although Stuart Broad slogged one six to ensure England had a chance with 16 needs from two overs he was bowled playing inside a straight ball.
So too two balls later did Jimmy Anderson. Chris Woakes was left unbeaten on 42, England's ignominious campaign was in tatters.
It was of absolutely no consolation that the bowling performance was much more adequate than it has been in the previous match against Sri Lanka - aggressive at the start, tight at the end.
But Bangladesh declined to oblige by crumbling.
Mahmudullah, a journeyman stalwart of Bangladesh's middle order for eight years, had his best day on a cricket field by scoring his maiden one-day international hundred at the 98th attempt.
His 103 was mature and composed, took 138 balls and contained seven fours and two sixes.
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