Broad looks to the positives
England will leave Sri Lanka on Wednesday knowing they fell short in their bid to defend the only ICC trophy they have ever won.
There will be frustration, but also some solace, for Stuart Broad's young team after an ICC World Twenty20 campaign in which they hinted at potential but collectively did not appear quite ready for the task.
Steven Finn's bowling, Luke Wright's much-improved batting and - in defeat against Sri Lanka last night - the strokeplay and know-how of Samit Patel all suggested England have the talent to do better.
Patel's maiden Twenty20 international half-century took England to within 19 runs of Sri Lanka's 169 for six in a final Super Eight match they had to win to progress to the knockout stages.
The margin of defeat was a fair illustration of the progress England must make if they are to be competitive at future world tournaments.
But both England captain Stuart Broad and Sri Lanka's regular leader Mahela Jayawardene recognised the pedigree of Patel's batting.
"The way Samit played the spin was very encouraging," said Broad.
"He looked a class act out there, and if we could just have hung around and stayed with him we knew the last four or five overs can go for anything here - because the ball just flies away.
"He did really well. His big strength is the way he plays the spin and how he hits over the off-side; he made some really good spinners go for a few runs here.
"That's a huge 'positive' for us, not just as a Twenty20 team but as an England cricket side for the future."
Jayawardene identified the same attributes in the Nottinghamshire all-rounder's innings.
"He batted really well. He improvised a lot, and put a couple of our bowlers under pressure.
"In situations like this, you have to take your chances - which he did.
"He did really well, especially against Ajantha (Mendis) - because the ball was skidding through; he used those conditions well, so credit to him."
It was Sri Lanka's fast bowler Lasith Malinga who did most damage to England's prospects, taking three wickets in his his first over on the way to a career-best five for 31 in this format.
But Broad spoke in more glowing terms about England's number one seamer Finn, for his contribution throughout the tournament.
"You have to look at the performance of someone like Finny throughout - he's been really good for us.
"He's come here and done his role. He was asked to go and try to bowl fast with the new ball, and take wickets, and he really did that well for us."
Broad is optimistic that the team he has led here will return much wiser and ready to try to beat the world in years to come.
They failed to follow in the footsteps of England's World Twenty20 winners, under Paul Collingwood in the Caribbean two years ago, but can still realistically hope to do so in the future.
"Looking at Colly's side, it took him three 'World Cups' to win it," said Broad.
"The experience of being involved three times helped him to then find the formula to actually win it.
"When we go to the next 'World Cup', we will have guys who've had the experience of playing in them on the sub-Continent."