VIVIAN RICHARDS and Ian Botham did all that was asked of them in what must surely have been their final joust in competitive cricket here yesterday. As usually happened when he was playing for the West Indies, Richards had the last word in that his 45 helped take Glamorgan to a NatWest victory over Durham by seven wickets.
Durham made 245 for 5 in their 60 overs and although Glamorgan's batsmen were always in control, Hugh Morris had twisted his ankle in the field and would have had to bat with a runner. Wales did not rest easily until Glamorgan had reached their target of 248 for 3.
Adrian Dale opened with Steve James and they put on 54 in 17 overs before Paul Parker threw out Dale in spectacular fashion. James and Matthew Maynard then took the score to 154 before James was lbw.
Richards appeared and, without a care in the world, drove his second ball from the off-spinner Phil Berry over mid-on for four. Botham now grasped the ball, gave Richards an uncomfortable few minutes and will always claim that he should have been rewarded with an lbw decision.
But Richards survived, played Botham square off his legs for four, made room to drive Berry gloriously over extra cover and dispatched Anderson Cummins far over mid-on. Maynard reached his 100 and holed out immediately afterwards, but by then the job had been done.
In the first hour or so, the ball bounced unevenly and Graeme Fowler and Wayne Larkins needed all their experience to cope with Steve Watkin and Roland Lefebvre.
After 15 overs, Durham were 19 for no wicket and the virtue of keeping wickets intact was then beautifully illustrated. The openers and Parker, after Fowler had chipped back an easy return catch to Robert Croft, gradually built up the momentum and Durham went into lunch reasonably well placed at 136 for 1.
After the interval, Glamorgan kept Durham to four runs an over for the first seven overs but on Larkins' departure, Botham appeared and with great enthusiasm set about Richards.
He square cut for four, and a low full-toss from Watkin was driven into the River Taff for six. He then swept Richards for four and off-drove a quicker ball for six before making room and swatting a long hop from Watkin straight to Richards at cover, who accepted the catch with considerable relish.
In the closing overs, Stewart Hutton hit 18 in eight balls and the target was achieved.