England crashed out of the Cricket World Cup today after slumping to a humiliating fourth defeat in five matches at the hands of Bangladesh. The reversal now means that their final Pool A match against Afghanistan on Friday is essentially meaningless, other than an opportunity to maybe get back a modicum of self-respect after such a dismal tournament. It may also spare the players and the management from some of the immediate backlash that is bound to occur from the media and fans back home.

Requiring two wins from their final two games in the group stages, there was every reason to expect England to find it within themselves to clinch their place in the quarter-finals.

From thereon in it would have been hard to argue a case for them beating any of the likely seven teams left to face, but at least they would have met the minimum expectations of the side. A solitary victory over the minnows from Scotland was hardly ideal preparation, with resounding losses at the hands of Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, all too readily illustrating how far England's ODI capabilities seem to have fallen behind the top teams.

Against Bangladesh they failed to prevent their opposition batsmen from posting a total that was maybe 20 - 30 runs more than many had forecast, scoring 275-7 from their 50 overs. Mohammad Mahmudullah deserved his man of the match award for a marvellous 103, before being run out by Chris Woakes.

Their wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim also played his part with 89 from just 77 balls, accelerating the scoring just when they needed to. England let their rivals off the hook twice at 8-2 and then 99-4, as a 141 fifth-wicket partnership proved decisive. James Anderson with 2-45 did his best to stem the runs, with Chris Jordan coming into the side with 2-59 bowling a mixture of good and bad deliveries.

England in reply started on the front foot for once and had reached 43 without loss, seemingly in control of the situation and the run rate, when Moeen Ali was run out on 19. The returning Alex Hales then joined Ian Bell (63) in another promising stand of 54 before Hales fell. That seemed to start the nerves jangling again in their dressing room, as they lost three wickets in next to no time to teeter on 132-5, with skipper Eoin Morgan out for a duck.

Their only real 'fight' lower down the order came from an entertaining partnership between Jos Buttler (65 from 52 balls) and Woakes, but when Buttler became the seventh wicket to fall on 238, the end seemed close. Jordan then found a way to get himself run out, despite initially looking to have run his bat in. Replays suggested that his bat then lifted into the air as the ball struck the stumps and he was gone. Woakes and Broad ensured that England fans still had some hope, but the 49th over saw their last chances disappear, as the first and third balls removed Broad and then last man Anderson. Woakes remained unbeaten on a plucky 42 at the end, as his side finished on 260 all out.

Rubel Hossain (4-53) kept his nerve with those final two wickets, after signs in the preceding over that England might just have had a slim chance.

It was never really on though after that middle order wobble, just when they needed the likes of Morgan and Root to take control of the situation, leaving such as Buttler and Woakes too much to do over such a long period.

The 'if's, 'why's and 'maybe's will now be debated as to what went wrong for England, but Bangladesh deserved rich praise for sticking to their game plan, setting a good total and then restraining their opponents' batting. Hales and Jordan were probably brought back too late, leaving them short of match sharpness, and the omission of the controlling force of James Tredwell's spin may also be a regret. For Morgan and the management, the explanations can now be worked on.