England's four decades of pain at major 50-over tournaments will continue for at least another two years after an enigmatic Pakistan side sensationally dumped them out of the ICC Champions Trophy on Wednesday.
Pakistan were given next-to-no chance of knocking off the tournament favourites in their semi-final in Cardiff but another superb bowling performance steered them to a crushing eight-wicket win and their first final at a major ODI event since the 1999 World Cup.
Ten days after they were humiliated by India in Birmingham, Pakistan now face the prospect of taking on their fierce rivals again in the tournament decider at The Oval on Sunday. India will play Bangladesh in the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.
As he'd done in victories over South Africa and Sri Lanka in the group stage, paceman Hasan Ali (3-36 from 10 overs) led the way as Pakistan dismissed England's all-conquering batting line-up for just 211 on a worn surface at Sophia Gardens.
Left-armers Junaid Khan and Rumman Raees, the latter in his ODI debut, also picked up two wickets each as none of England's batsmen finished their innings with a strike-rate of more than 100. It was just the second time in 47 matches since their much-publicised one-day revolution began two years ago that no England batsman has scored a half-century.
Any thought of the kind of batting collapse that has become Pakistan's unwanted trademark at this tournament was hammered away by another stunning performance from rookie opener Fakhar Zaman (57 from 58 balls), who shared a 118-run opening stand with the rejuvenated Azhar Ali (76 from 100).
And Babar Azam (38no) and Mohammad Hafeez (31no) finished the job as Pakistan secured victory with an eye-watering 77 deliveries remaining meaning England, for all they've achieved in ODI cricket since their embarrassing exit from the 2015 World Cup, are still without a trophy from 19 attempts at major ODI tournaments stretching back to the first World Cup in 1975.
Everything seemed to be heading in favour of the hosts after they'd been sent in to bat on a stunning morning in the Welsh capital; Jonny Bairstow, recalled in place of dumped opener Jason Roy, narrowly survived a video review in the opening over while Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan were both given out on the field only to have the decisions correctly overturned by the third umpire.
But from a strong position at 2-128 in the 28th over, England lost their last eight wickets for 83 as Pakistan's impressive seam attack brilliantly exploited the same pitch that had hosted their match against Sri Lanka on Monday.
Playing just his 20th ODI, Hasan added another three wickets to his hauls of 3-24 and 3-43 earlier in the group stage – despite appearing to be hobbled by injury – and moved to the top of the tournament's wicket-taking charts.
The reverse swing and clever variations of Rumman (handed his debut in place of the injured Mohammad Amir) and Junaid also proved to be too much for England's batting stars as they limped past the 200 mark in the 48th over.
Despite a few fumbles in the field, Pakistan also produced two run-outs while Fakhar pulled in a sensational diving catch on the square leg boundary, right in front of the viewing platform adjoining the team dressing-room's where delighted coach Mickey Arthur and his Australian offsider Steve Rixon stood and applauded.
No-one epitomised England's torrid time with the bat quite like dynamic allrounder Ben Stokes, who was uncharacteristically sedate in compiling 34 from 64 balls (with no boundaries) as he struggled to come to terms with the two-paced pitch.
Despite the sub-par total, a victory target of 212 on a difficult surface for batting meant England would have gone to the break unsatisfied but knowing they were still in with a serious chance of victory given Pakistan's batting wobbles so far in the tournament.
But left-handed Fakhar, who has been a revelation since making his debut just a week ago, hammered a run-a-ball half-century including six fours and a six as Pakistan knocked off almost half of their victory target before the first drinks break.
By which point the fat lady was already warming her vocal chords and England were beginning to ponder how their impressive one-day resurgence has still failed to net them a major piece of ODI silverware – at least until they host the next World Cup in two years’ time.
Road to the semi-final
1 June – Beat Bangladesh by eight wickets
6 June – Beat New Zealand by 87 runs
10 June – Beat Australia by 40 runs (DLS method)
4 June – Lost to India by 124 runs
12 June – Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by three wickets
Champions Trophy 2017 Guide
Squads: Every Champions Trophy nation
2 June – New Zealand v Australia, No Result
4 June – India beat Pakistan by 124 runs
5 June – Australia v Bangladesh, No Result
6 June – England beat New Zealand by 87 runs
11 June – India beat South Africa by eight wickets
12 June – Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by three wickets
14 June – First semi-final (England v Pakistan), Cardiff (D)
15 June – Second semi-final (Bangladesh v India), Edgbaston (D)
18 June – Final, The Oval (D)
19 June – Reserve day (D)