A title defence in name only finally died a death in Ahmedabad, where Australia beat England by 33 runs.
A sixth defeat in seven games - and a fifth in succession - made it mathematically impossible for the holders to reach the semi-finals.
One would have got long odds going into the competition on Jos Buttler’s men being bottom of the 10-nation group table with two matches left, but that is the sorry state in which they find themselves with the Netherlands and Pakistan to come next week.
Thus a great era for English cricket can now officially be declared over, one which brought glory in the 50-over World Cup in 2019 and the T20 World Cup last winter.
All good things must come to an end and the truth is that an ageing side has just not been good enough, the “Dad’s Army” cliche cruel but appropriate.
At the cavernous and cacophonous Narendra Modi Stadium, where England’s campaign started with a nine-wicket defeat against New Zealand that sounded the first warning note, Australia administered the coup de grace.
It had to be the Aussies… After all the history between the teams in the summer, with the Jonny Bairstow stumping and the furore in the Long Room, not to mention the backstory over almost 150 years of international rivalry, it was fitting that the oldest rivals brought down the blade.
This game was something of a throwback, with neither side scoring at a run-a-ball.
After Buttler inserted, with England once more unchanged with no place for Yorkshire’s Harry Brook, Australia scored 286 on a slowish surface, their innings ending with three balls of the 50 overs unused.
It was an innings that started poorly, an apparent tactic to take down Chris Woakes misfiring as both openers fell to the Warwickshire man in his first three overs. After David Warner launched Woakes for a straight six, Travis Head steered him straight to slip and then Warner himself spliced to mid-wicket. It was England who grabbed the early momentum.
The somewhat becalmed nature of the day was most obviously established by Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, who combined with a steadfastness that the situation demanded.
Labuschagne is a touch player, something of a throwback himself in a swashbuckling era, and Smith a batsman who defies description, an amalgam of idiosyncrasies which somehow coalesce into a glorious whole.
The pair eschewed risk and took the runs available in a sensible partnership of 75, one ended by Adil Rashid when Smith cut to Moeen at backward point. In Rashid’s next over, the pair combined again, Josh Inglis falling to a firm reverse-sweep, leaving Australia 117-4 in the 24th over and the match to take shape.
It then began to as two enforced changes to the Australian side, with Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis replacing Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, combining in useful partnerships that ensured that Australia did not fall away at this key stage.
First, Green added 61 with Labuschagne, who top scored with 71 before he was lbw to Mark Wood on review, the final delivery of an over that contained three wides on a day when the Durham man was somewhat unfortunate but again expensive.
Then Green and Stoinis shared 45, taking their side up to 223-6 in the 41st over and ensuring that a challenging score would be set.
Still, after Green’s 47 and Stoinis’s 35, it needed a fine cameo from Adam Zampa, the No 10 batsman, to ensure that the platform was not squandered, the leg-spinner striking 29 from 19 balls.
Woakes finished with 4-54 but Yorkshire’s Rashid was the pick of the attack, England’s leg-spinner excellent for 2-38 from his 10 overs.
England’s chase could not have begun more inauspiciously.
Jonny Bairstow, who emerged from the dressing room with that familiar look about him, one that suggested he was in the mood to unleash, fell in innocuous style to the first delivery, caught down the leg-side off Mitchell Starc.
When Joe Root was then caught behind off the same bowler thanks to Ultra Edge, having earlier been dropped, England were 19-2 and it was almost time to start writing up.
But England were given a good third wicket stand of their own by Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes, who shared 84 before Malan - one ball after reaching his fifty - lofted to long-leg.
Three overs later, Buttler’s poor competition with the bat continued when he picked out long-off to give Zampa his first wicket.
Further hope came through Stokes and Moeen, who added 63 from 62, but Stokes played a poor shot when he helped Zampa around the corner straight to the fielder, having hit 64 from 90 with two fours and three sixes.
Livingstone came and went, pulling to mid-wicket, and when Moeen skied Zampa to deep mid-wicket, it ended a useful innings of 42 and more or less settled matters.
Woakes and Rashid went down fighting, but England never seriously threatened to get over the line.
The best that could be said was they did not lose heavily; this was the smallest margin of defeat they have suffered, a small crumb of comfort when all is said and done.