England U19s demolish Fiji in opener

England showed no mercy to World Cup debutants Fiji in a record-breaking 299–run demolition in their opening pool game in Chittagong today.

Essex opener Dan Lawrence smashed 174 from 150 balls, a new one-day record for England Under-19s, and shared a second-wicket stand of 303 with Durham’s Jack Burnham, who made 148 from 137.

Then Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood and Surrey’s Sam Curran each took three wickets with the new ball as the Fijians were skittled for 72.

England captain Brad Taylor won the toss and chose to bat, with Somerset’s Ben Green replacing Yorkshire’s Jared Warner in the one change to the team who played in the warm-up games against Namibia and Bangladesh.

Middlesex’s Max Holden fell early but that proved the ultimate false dawn for the Fijians, as Lawrence and Burnham ran riot.

Lawrence set a new record for England in a 50-over match at Under-19 level, beating the unbeaten 149 made by Billy Godleman against Pakistan at Leicester in 2007.

Lancashire fast bowler Saqib Mahmood, centre, returned figures of 5-4-2-3 from his opening spell against Fiji today

It was the second-highest score ever made in an Under-19 World Cup, two short of the record set by Donovan Pagon for West Indies against Scotland in Dunedin in 2002.

And Lawrence was only five short of the all-time record for Under-19 one-day cricket, which is still held by Theo Doropoulos who hit an unbeaten 179 in Sydney in 2003 – against an England attack including Liam Plunkett, Tim Bresnan and captained by Samit Patel.

Lawrence joined Patel on a select list of England players to have scored a century in the Under-19s World Cup which also includes his Essex team-mate Alastair Cook, who made an unbeaten 108 against New Zealand in Dhaka in 2004.

On any other day Burnham’s innings would have grabbed the headlines, as he hit four sixes and 19 fours to post the third-highest score by an England Under-19s batsman in one-day cricket, behind Lawrence and Godleman.

Mahmood, who like Lawrence and Burnham made his senior debut in county cricket last summer, inflicted further humiliation on the Fijians with an opening spell of 5-4-2-3, with all of his wickets clean bowled.

Curran, the left-armer who made such a stunning impact with Surrey in 2015, took 3-22 in his opening spell, finding his usual swing to win three lbw decisions, and then Green picked up where he left off in some impressive performances in the pre-Christmas trip to Sri Lanka with 2-7 from five overs.

England will now brace themselves for stiffer tests in their remaining group matches against West Indies on Friday and Zimbabwe on Sunday, both of which will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Source: ECB

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