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We were not good enough - Broad
Inexperienced England failed to measure up in defence of their ICC World Twenty20 title - and, in the words of their captain Stuart Broad, were "not quite good enough" throughout.
England's exit was confirmed on Monday night when, despite a maiden Twenty20 international half-century from Samit Patel, they lost by 19 runs to Sri Lanka. Broad said: "You can look at the missed opportunities. But I think throughout the whole tournament, we've not quite been good enough."
Two years after Paul Collingwood led his country to their first International Cricket Council trophy - in this sprint format - Broad's team must head home before the semi-final stage.
Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga undermined England's chase of 169 for six, almost from the outset, with three wickets in his first over - on the way to career-best figures of five for 31 in the final Super Eight match at Pallekele.
Only victory would have taken England through to the knockout stages - and although Patel (67) and even Graeme Swann, with some late hitting, got them closer than had seemed likely, they never looked likely to prevail.
"It's very disappointing to have gone out, because I believe we do have the firepower in that changing room to go far," added the captain. "Coming to the ground today, knowing you win three games and you win a 'World Cup', you're not that far away. It's frustratingly close."
While England pack bags and check early flight details, Sri Lanka can hope for two more home wins for glory. They will be able to do so too with Mahela Jayawardene's continued availability assured, after some quick thinking on their part to make sure he does not fall foul of an ICC over-rate suspension.
That might have been his fate, had Jayawardene led his team again as scheduled night and failed to race them through their 20 overs in the allotted time - as against West Indies two days ago.
He, like Broad against New Zealand, was fined for that transgression but would have been facing a semi-final ban for a repeat. Sri Lanka were therefore led against England by Kumar Sangakkara, to make sure they did not lose such an important player during the latter stages of the tournament.
Jayawardene said: "The intentions were not bad. But obviously I had a warning for the over rate in the last match. If I get penalised again, I miss the match. It's a tough system, and the penalties are really harsh. We don't want to miss out on a big game - so that's what we did."