Source: England Cricket via Twitter

England were denied passage to the ICC Champions Trophy final for the second time on the bounce by Pakistan in their semi-final clash.

Eoin Morgan’s men were considered favourites to win the competition, but put in a horrendous performance at Sophia Gardens to lose by eight wickets to the Green Shirts.

The Three Lions had won all their previous three matches against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Australia in fairly convincing fashion.

However, conditions got the better of England’s free-flowing batsmen in Cardiff, allowing Pakistan’s bowlers to capitalise and limit them to just 211 from their 50 overs.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s team did not have the same problem as the host nation on the used surface, with Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam guiding their side to a comfortable win with 12 overs left to spare.

The defeat will have humbled England, despite the advancements in their ODI game over the past two years since the debacle of the 2015 World Cup.

Morgan’s men will still be strong candidates on home soil to triumph at the next World Cup in two years’ time, but will need to make improvements to their game to become a well-rounded outfit, with the early cricket betting odds backing them at 9/2 to win the tournament for the first time.

However, England must be able to adapt to conditions even when they are the host nation as their defeat to Pakistan in Cardiff proved.

Since the 2015 World Cup, the Three Lions have been the most exciting side to watch due to their ability to rack up huge scores. Their aggression allowed them to post the highest ODI total in history – ironically against Pakistan at Trent Bridge last year.

Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler have piled on the runs, and although Jason Roy has struggled of late he too enjoyed a rich vein of form.

England have lost only three series since March 2015 when they were dumped out of the World Cup by Bangladesh. Those have come at the hands of Australia, South Africa and India – three of the best sides in the world.

Australia were simply the better team in the series, while the Three Lions allowed a chance to secure a Test and ODI double to slip through their fingers against South Africa. In India, the turning conditions bested them, with their batsmen being unable to tee off on the turning pitches.

Unfortunately, that trait has carried into the summer, although they are rare occurrences.

After securing their home series against South Africa by winning the two opening matches, Morgan’s men collapsed to 20-6 at Lord’s on a green track – breaking the world record for the most amount of wickets lost in the opening five overs.

Jonny Bairstow guided England to a respectable score, but the Proteas won with relative ease to avoid a whitewash.

Source: Fox Sports Cricket via Twitter

England produced three fine performances to reach the semi-finals, but when confronted with harsh conditions on a used, slow pitch, they were unable to adapt.

Their batsmen were completely bamboozled by its pace and quality bowling from Pakistan, especially from Hasan Ali. The Green Shirts proved that with a disciplined approach that there were no demons in the wicket and were able to dispatch the England attack to the boundary with ease.

Morgan and his team must learn from their mistakes in this contest if they are to win their first 50-over tournament. Their gung-ho approach has been productive, but sensible management will be the key going forward to end their drought at major tournaments.