File photo: Dan Lawrence struck 174 off 150 balls, the highest score ever recorded in Under-19 World Cup history © Getty Images
When he was dismissed in the final over, England opener Dan Lawrence did not know that his 174 was the second-highest in 11 years of Under-19 World Cups and only six runs short of the highest ever in Youth ODIs. He was simply delighted that it helped the England Under-19s thump Fiji Under-19s by 299 runs.
“I couldn’t tell you what [the record] was,” Lawrence told ESPNcricinfo. “I am not sure if I have beaten it. I don’t know. If I woke up this morning and someone offered me that score, I would have said yes.”
Lawrence and Jack Burnham put together the biggest partnership for any wicket in Youth ODIs. Their 303 broke a record that had stood for over a decade – New Zealand’s BJ Watling and Brad Wilson had put on 273 runs in February 2004 against Scotland.
Lawrence said he and Burnham, who scored 148, mostly talked about tackling the first hour when conditions were tacky at the MA Aziz Stadium. England had lost Max Holden in the third over after opting to bat first, but from then on they dominated a Fiji team that was playing its first game at the world stage.
“We talked a lot about getting through the first hour. It was a little bit tacky in the morning, and tougher to bat,” Lawrence said. “Once the ball gets older, a batter should be able to score big runs. We were talking about taking it as it comes, and get greedy and get a hundred to start off the tournament. Luckily we did.”
Lawrence felt the Fiji bowlers were always behind the game without consistent breakthroughs, and it became easier for himself and Burnham to accelerate after the 30th over considering they had nine wickets in hand. England finished with 371 for 3 in 50 overs.
“It was tough for Fiji because we got a good platform. We were one wicket down after 30 overs and as a batter you are always happy when that happens. You’ve got so many wickets in your hand that you can chance your arm. Luckily today we chanced our arm and it came off,” Lawrence said. “It was good. They weren’t bad at all. They just had a tough time of it because we had so many wickets in hand.”
Lawrence, who became the third-youngest batsman to make a Championship century last year at 17 years and 290 days, said his experience with Essex has been invaluable and he can pass it on to those who don’t have access to such intimate knowledge of the game.
“I think it has been a massive help to play in Essex, just working with people who have played a lot more cricket than I have. I took as much knowledge as I possibly can out of all the bigger guns in cricket. Then you come here and try to feed off the knowledge that I have learned from them to some of the other players who hasn’t had that type of experiences,” he said.
England play West Indies next in the group stages at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Friday.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo