World Cup 2023 (1)
WBBL 2023 (2)
GAK One Day (1)
HKG-WMN T20 (1)
Marsh Cup (1)
A pretty ungainly way to go, edging a reverse sweep into Mohammad Rizwan's gloves, who takes the catch at the second attempt. But it caps off a productive World Cup for Malan.
He has been the one standout batter in a dour campaign, one of two centurions and the only England batter with three fifty-plus scores at this juncture. Despite his pedigree in T20 cricket, Malan said there was every chance this would be his last match in an England shirt ahead of a mooted changing of the guard.
If that is the case, averages of 55.76 (ODI) and 36.38 (T20i) underline just how reliable a white ball player he was for his country.
43 legal deliveries for England's half-century
Jonny Bairstow has been motoring, and cuts the first delivery from Iftikhar Ahmed through point for four - already his sixth boundary of the innings to bring up England's fifty. Having started tentatively, he seems to have sussed the pitch and has leapt on anything slightly off. He struck the first six of the innings in the previous over against Afridi, using the pace to ramp easily inside third.
The left-arm quick will be rueing that dropped catch in his second over - a plink back to him with Dawid Malan still on a duck. Malan has since opened his arms and Babar Azam is already scratching his head.
After Shaheen Shah Afridi opened with a maiden against Dawid Malan, Haris Rauf gives England runs on the board with a couple of wayward deliveries. Early days, but the pitch is nipping about - both Malan and Jonny Bairstow coaxed into flirts outside off stump without any real conviction, and Rauf even pins Bairstow's front pad, albeit after an inside edge. Two overs in, still no run off the bat.
Probably not much. But it is an excuse to talk about a cricket-mad Rolling Stone.
Mick Jagger is in Kolkata and was at England's hotel last night, posing for a group pic with Buttler, Curran, Atkinson, Carse, Malan, Bairstow and Brook. He's not a guest of the team as reported locally but is due to be here today under his own steam.
"It is the end of an era. England will lose their status as reigning champions in both men's white-ball formats next Sunday, and the golden generation of players who underpinned their unprecedented limited-overs success will splinter. Saturday's fixture against Pakistan in Kolkata will be the final match of several storied ODI careers."
Matt Roller pays tribute to a group of England players who should not be remembered for the lows of the past six weeks, but for the highs of the preceding seven years.
A dagger to the hearts of Babar Azam, his team and millions of Pakistan fans worldwide. Jos Buttler decides to bat first, making an overturn of Pakistan's run rate that little bit tougher. Actually, it makes it borderline impossible.
England are unchanged from their victory over the Netherlands, while Pakistan have a single change - Hasan Ali is out, Shabab Khan is in.
England: 1 Jonny Bairstow, 2 Dawid Malan, 3 Joe Root, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Jos Buttler (capt/wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 David Willey, 10 Gus Atkinson, 11 Adil Rashid
Pakistan: 1 Abdullah Shafique, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Iftikhar Ahmed, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Agha Salman, 9 Mohammad Wasim Jnr, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf
So here we are, the end of the road.
Certainly for England. The defending champs had their crown knocked off the best part of a month ago but only at the end of this encounter will they have to hand it over. It has been, well, something. Or rather, nothing. The proclaimed kings of modern white ball cricket are kings no more.
Even Pakistan, the princes for the sake of this analogy, need snookers for a shot throne. Only victory by 287 runs will get them into the semi-finals – a margin which relies on them batting first but not necessarily winning the toss given some of Jos Buttler's decisions after calling correctly.
Though Babar Azam’s side retains an outside shot of breaching the final four, neither he nor Buttler anticipated this last group stage match being framed as close to a nothing encounter. Nevertheless, there is pride to play for, and never more so than when it is the only thing at stake.
Each governing body will embark on its own rigorous post-mortems, and by the end of play today, either the ECB or PCB will have a few grains of sugar to sprinkle on their own. It’s hard not to regard this as a sign-off for players who have brought so much joy, particularly for England who are due to wave goodbye to a handful of dual World Cup winners. Signing off with a win would at least mean they saw this particularly grim campaign through and reinforce the notion that Buttler deserves to remain as white ball skipper for the time being.
For Pakistan, the miracle of their DLS victory over New Zealand has them coming to Kolkata with ambitions to play up the divinity. And though they have shed their conservativeness a little too late, a win will at least register them as the best of the rest, even if the focus remains on what might have been.
These are two well-match sides, of skillsets that challenge the best of what the other has to offer. At the very least, that will lend itself to an engaging showdown, particularly while Pakistan’s hopes are still alive and kicking.
The toss is 30 minutes away. In the meantime, sup on our match preview to get you in the mood.
Current Over 22 • ENG 124/2Live Forecast: ENG 308
Powered by Smart Stats
Live report - England vs Pakistan, Kolkata
Can Pakistan break into the top four, or will England sign off a dismal title defence on a high?
ODI World Cup digest: Pakistan need a miracle; Australia seeking seven in a row
South Africa had some nervy moments beating Afghanistan and also suffered an injury scare to their captain
England's golden generation faces the end of an era
Once the dust settles, they will be remembered not for the lows of this World Cup, but the highs of the preceding seven years
Pakistan face near-impossible task against England to make World Cup semi-finals
Realistically, both teams will just want to finish their World Cup on a high, as they meet at Eden Gardens