‘We have underperformed’: England end dismal World Cup defence with Pakistan upset to secure Champions League berth

England have ended their dismal World Cup campaign with a 93-run victory over Pakistan, denying the 1992 champions the miracle they needed to make it to the last four.

Jos Buttler’s side had already been eliminated after six defeats in seven matches in a debacle that has prompted demands for an overhaul of their one-day squad.

But electing to bat at Eden Gardens on Saturday, they saved some of their old best for last, racking up a solid 9-337, with three of their top four batters smashing fifties in their third 300-plus total of the tournament.

Jonny Bairstow (59), Joe Root (60) and Ben Stokes (84) all made half-centuries in a display that left their fans wishing the batters could have produced similar efforts earlier in the tournament.

Pakistan were then all out for 244 in the 44th over and bowed out of the tournament after their fifth loss in nine matches.

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— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) November 11, 2023

The result confirmed that New Zealand join India, South Africa and Australia in the semi-finals, while England have secured a place in the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

India kick off the semis at Mumbai against the Black Caps on Wednesday with Australia’s clash with the Proteas at Kolkata on Thursday.

“Obviously, the tournament hasn’t gone to plan for us as a whole which is a real disappointment,” said player-of-the-match David Willey, who took 3-56 after whacking a swift late-order 15 off five balls.

“We have a phenomenal group of players with massive talent. We have underperformed here which is disappointing.”

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— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) November 11, 2023

Malan (31) and Bairstow gave England a decent start following Buttler’s decision to bat.

After the openers departed, Root and Stokes motored along even if it did not exactly rain boundaries.

Pakistan’s fielding was sloppy with Shaheen Afridi dropping Malan and Stokes off his own bowling, while Haris Rauf caught a skyer from Buttler only for his shoes to touch the boundary rope, thus gifting a six for England.

Set a daunting target, Pakistan found themselves in the absurd position of needing to complete the chase in just 6.4 overs in order to make the last four ahead of New Zealand.

Willey, playing his last match for England, dismissed both the Pakistan openers in his first two overs.

Babar Azam (38) and Mohammad Rizwan (36) got decent starts but could not push on to bigger totals.

Agha Salman made 51 and down the order, Rauf smacked three sixes in his entertaining knock of 35 but it mattered little in the end.

“We will sit together and take stock,” Babar said of Pakistan’s own disappointing campaign. “We’ll take positives from this and discuss mistakes. I’m keen to lead the rebuild.”

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