The better side won - Broad
Stuart Broad conceded England had been second best after seeing his first match as Twenty20 captain end in a comprehensive defeat.
Broad, starting life as an international skipper in place of the omitted Paul Collingwood, saw his batsmen post a disappointing 136 for nine and was unable to prevent Sri Lanka cantering over the finishing line with 16 balls to spare, thanks to unbeaten knocks of 72 and 43 respectively from Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
Only Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen came anywhere close to their best form, with scores of 47 and 41, as the tourists avenged their defeat in the recent npower Test series with a nine-wicket win.
It was not the start Broad had in mind and he admitted his team, who managed only one boundary in the final eight overs of their innings, had fallen some way short of competitive.
“It was a disappointing performance,” he said. “We got off to a sluggish start but the way KP and Morgs played was fantastic.
“They showed they could clear the boundaries and we got a lot of momentum from that, so to lose those two guys in consecutive overs stalled our innings a little bit and nobody could grab the game by the scruff of the neck with some later boundaries.
“Going out to bowl with only 136 on board we knew we had to take early wickets but Sangakkara and Jayawardene showed their experience to not give us a sniff and not let us open up an end.
“Obviously it was a disappointing result and we were thoroughly outplayed but credit where credit is due, I thought Sri Lanka played very well.”
Lasith Malinga, retired from the longer form of the game but still lethal in limited-overs cricket, was a star performer with four overs yielding two wickets and just 15 runs.
He will have a major say in the forthcoming one-day series between the sides, for which Broad will hand the reins to Alastair Cook.
Cook has been warned that Malinga is Sri Lanka’s dangerman.
“The loss of momentum in our innings was disappointing but they’ve got some very good death bowlers,” Broad added.
“You have to say Malinga is one of the best in the world and we didn’t find the boundaries we needed.
“The guys came in thinking it was probably a 160, 170 wicket, especially given the size of Bristol, but I was confident going out to field that if we could open up an end we had a chance. That didn’t happen and it was a disappointing day.”
Thilina Kandamby, like Broad leading his country for the first time, had a rather better first day in the hot seat.
“Today it was really fun because everything was going our way, so it was a good day,” he said.
“With Lasith in your side it can be easy to handle another side because he is a world-class bowler. Whenever he gets a chance he will take wickets.
“Our target was to keep them under 150. We did well on that because we thought 150 would be gettable here with a fast outfield.”