Ian Bishop hailed England as one of the teams to watch in the ICC Under-19 World Cup after seeing them stay on course for the quarter-finals with a 61-run win over West Indies.
Bishop, the former West Indies fast bowler who has become a respected media pundit, was especially impressed by the composure shown by England’s bowlers and fielders when they were defending a total of 282 for seven.
“I think England are a good team – watch them in this World Cup,” said Bishop, who thought West Indies could also be encouraged by the way their much less experienced team competed.
“I am encouraged by what I saw from West Indies, but the England boys showed a lot of maturity and understanding of the nuances of the game in the way they performed in the field.”
England’s captain Brad Taylor was also pleased that his team stayed cool when Gideon Pope and Keemo Paul were hitting aggressive half-centuries.
Lawrence also claimed a second wicket to add to his half-century and seal his second consecutive man-of-the-match award, and Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood then claimed four of the last five wickets in a devastating second spell – helped by excellent catches from Lawrence at long-off, Taylor at deep midwicket and especially Somerset’s George Bartlett diving full length to his right at backward point to dismiss Paul for 65 from 58 balls.
“It got a bit nervy in their innings when they put a partnership together, but we’re very happy with that win in the end,” said the Hampshire off-spinner.
“Our seamers bowled brilliantly today on a pitch that didn’t offer them a lot. We thought our total was above par as well although we were a bit disappointed not to get a few more from the position we were in at one point.”
Lawrence, who smashed a record-breaking 174 in England’s opening victory over Fiji, said: “It’s obviously a nice start for me personally, and a fantastic start for the boys. That was a great team performance – everyone chipped in with the bat, and we held our nerve with the ball at the end there.
“There was a bit more pace in this pitch and in their bowling than there had been in the Fiji game, and the first 10 overs should be the easier time to bat – my job is to make the most of that.
“My role with the ball is to take wickets, I’m not always going to be economical. Today I got the wicket early and got my 10 overs in, which was good.”
With Zimbabwe thrashing Fiji in today’s other game in their group, England may still have to win their last group game against Zimbabwe on Sunday to secure their quarter-final place. That will also be shown live on Sky Sports.