Nottingham:West Indies' stand-in captain Denesh Ramdin insists his team will bounce back in the World Twenty20 despite a morale-sapping loss to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka won Wednesday's last league match by 15 runs after piling up 192-5, largely due to an explosive 81 off 47 balls by veteran Sanath Jayasuriya and his 124-run opening stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan (74).
But Ramdin was encouraged by his team's brave chase of the daunting target in the absence of captain Chris Gayle, who missed the Group C match due to a knee injury.
The West Indians ended at 177-5, fired by a spectacular counter-attack from Dwayne Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan, who put on 77 off 59 balls for the fifth wicket.
Bravo hit a 38-ball 51 that included five fours and two sixes, while Sarwan remained unbeaten on 28.
"To score so many runs without having Chris at the top is very encouraging, although I must admit we did not bowl or field well," said Ramdin.
"Chris will be back for the next game. His presence will be a boost for us. He can destroy any attack at the top of the order."
The West Indies play defending champions India in their first Super Eights match at Lord's on Friday.
South Africa and hosts England are the other teams in the group, from which two will advance to the semi-finals.
The other group has Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ireland and New Zealand.
Gayle's aggressive 88 off 50 balls helped the West Indies stun Australia by seven wickets in their first match, and the team will be hoping for more belligerent innings from the left-hander.
"Once he gets going, it is hard to stop Chris," said Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara. "He can really turn the game around."
The West Indies will also be pleased with the batting of Bravo, fresh from his stint with Sachin Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
Bravo also bowled four steady overs of medium-pace in which he conceded just 29 runs, although Lendl Simmons outshone him with four of the five wickets that fell.
Another all-rounder, Keiron Pollard, bore the brunt of the Sri Lankan assault, going for 45 runs in three overs.
The West Indies marched into the Super Eights after a disastrous tour of England prior to the World Twenty20 where they were hammered in both the Test and one-day series.
"After a tough series against England, we wanted to put a smile back on our fans' faces," Gayle had said after the win over Australia.
The captain will have to lead from the front if the West Indies are to progress further in the tournament.