27 January 2016
Lawrence, Burnham propel England Under-19 to massive win
Both batsmen score centuries, put on 303 for second wicket to consign Fiji Under-19 to record 299-run defeat
England galloped to a record 299-run win over debutant Fiji in a Group C match.
Dan Lawrence, the opener who had scored 85 in the first warm-up match against Namibia, went one better at the MA Aziz Stadium. The 18-year-old batted almost through the innings before being dismissed in the final over for 174 off 150 deliveries – a knock studded with 25 boundaries and a six. Jack Burnham, the right-hand batsman, was equally destructive in scoring 148 off 137 balls with 19 fours and four sixes. The duo’s brilliance enabled England, batting by choice after Brad Taylor won the toss, to post 371 for 3 as it buried Fiji under an avalanche or runs.
Fiji's batting has been fragile and prone to collapses during both its warm-up matches, and the task of taking the fight to England's potent bowling attack was well beyond it. Delaimatuku Maraiwai and T Veitacini, the openers, were fired out inside three overs. England’s new ball pair of Saqib Mahmood and Sam Curran continued to strike regular blows, removing Jordan Dunham, Samuel Saunokonoko and Saimoni Tuitoga, the captain, as Fiji hit a roadblock at 12 for 5 in 5.2 overs.
Peni Vuniwaqa, who came in at No. 5, smashed a few fours on his way to an innings-high 36 off 74 balls, but it was too little to make any impression on England, which was brilliant with the ball. Outclassed in all departments, Fiji managed just 72 before being bowled out in 27.3 overs.
The spoils were shared by Mahood, the most successful bowler with 3 for 2 in five overs, and Curran, who took 3 for 22. Ben Green, the right-arm pacer, was also among the wickets as he finished with 2 for 7.
England came into the game seeking to gain confidence ahead of its next game against the other big team in the group, West Indies. Despite the early loss of Max Holden, England knew it had to get into combat mode, and did so very well.
While Holden began carefully, Lawrence warmed up with three boundaries in the first over. Cakacaka Tikoisuva provided the early breakthrough for Fiji when Holden holed out to point for 3. But the wicket opened the floodgates as Lawrence and Burnham took the Fiji bowlers apart on their way to a whopping 303-run second-wicket stand.
Lawrence brought up his century, also the first of the tournament, in the 35th over with a boundary over long-on. Burnham followed suit, bringing up his ton off 117 balls, with an extra cover boundary.
By the time Burnham was bowled by Jack Charters in the 47th over, England had raced to 325 for 2. Meanwhile, Lawrence continued the annihilation striking seven more boundaries in two overs before falling in the last over. Lawrence’s 174 was the second-highest score ever made in an U-19 World Cup, two short of the record set by Donovan Pagon for West Indies against Scotland in Dunedin in 2002.
England will brace itself for a stiff test against West Indies on Friday, while Fiji takes on Zimbabwe on the same day.
For full scorecard of the match click here.