Centurion Dan Lawrence was delighted to contribute to England Under-19s’ thrashing of Fiji in their opening World Cup pool game in Chittagong.
The Essex batsman smashed 174 from 150 deliveries, the highest England Under-19s score in a 50-over match, and shared a second-wicket stand of 303 with Durham’s Jack Burnham, who made a 137-ball 148.
That lifted England to a mammoth 371 for three from 50 overs, a total that proved 299 runs too many for World Cup debutants Fiji.
Lawrence and Burnham had been two of the four England batsmen dismissed for a duck in the last warm-up game against Bangladesh, so this was the perfect way for both to bounce back.
“I’ve just been saying to the lads that as long as I get past the first over I generally do all right,” joked Lawrence, who also fell early against South Africa in Dubai, but scored a quick 88 against Namibia in the second of England’s three warm-up fixtures.
“The top order had failed in that Bangladesh game, so it’s nice for me and Jack to get a good confidence booster. With the bowling as well, it was a very professional performance.
“Fair play to the Fiji lads, for the first 20 overs it wasn’t easy because there wasn’t much pace in the pitch. Me and Jack didn’t go berserk, we just played really until the last 10.
“I’m really pleased for Jack because he’s a great lad and a top player, and he needed a few runs. The beauty about him is he can play all sorts of situations, whether we lose a wicket early on or hitting a long ball late in the innings. He played beautifully.”
Mahmood took 3-2 and Curran returned 3-22 to leave Fiji to dire straits at 17 for six before they were eventually skittled for 72.
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“Saqib and Sam showed again what they can do – I think they’re going to be damaging all the way through the competition,” Lawrence said.
“Sam swings it and attacks the stumps, and Saqqy is very consistent with his line and length and swings the ball late. They’re a good pair.”
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.
“We know this is nothing to get too excited about,” Lawrence added. “The lads who didn’t have a bat today were out practising straight after the game, because we’ve got West Indies on Friday.
“We’ve still got work to do to get to the quarter finals, which is our first target. Today was just about getting the job done.”