Pallekele: England captain Stuart Broad has admitted his inexperienced team was "not good enough" after the defending champions crashed out of the World Twenty20. England's 19-run defeat against Sri Lanka in Pallekele on Monday was their second loss in three Super Eights games and paved the way for the hosts and the West Indies to advance to the semi-finals from group one.
"You can look at the missed opportunities. But I think throughout the whole tournament, we've not quite been good enough," Broad said as his team prepared for the long journey home.
England, who won the 2010 title in the Caribbean under Paul Collingwood, beat only New Zealand in the Super Eights but could have made the semi-finals had they defeated Sri Lanka. Sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga dashed the champions' hopes with three wickets in his first over that reduced England to 18 for 3 chasing Sri Lanka's 169 for 6.
Broad's men ended on 150 for 9 following a half-century from Samit Patel and his 51-run stand for the eighth wicket with Graeme Swann, who swung his bat to hit 34 off 20 balls with four boundaries and a six. Patel finished with a glorious 67 off 48 balls, but the effort came too late to save England from an early exit.
"It was very disappointing to have gone out, because I believe we do have the firepower in that changing room to go far," said Broad. "It was frustratingly close."
The man who could have changed England's fortunes was star batsman Kevin Pietersen, the man of the tournament in 2010 who was confined to the TV studio in Colombo after being axed for disciplinary reasons.
Pietersen was cast into international exile after sending text messages to South African players that contained criticism of then England skipper Andrew Strauss during the recent Test series.
Broad refused to dwell on Pietersen's absence, but admitted his side lacked experience to match the firepower of the other teams. "What you get with young guys is some days of absolute brilliance, and other days a bit of averageness," he said. "I think, as a team we've probably shown that.
"It has been a learning experience for us. Obviously, we did not have enough players firing at the same time. The talent is certainly there. You see on the domestic scene that these are the guys who are performing week in and week out. But it's a learning experience when you come into the international scene.
"We've got guys here who have not played a lot of international cricket. But as long as we learn from it, we will develop."