Cricket : Richards retains old skills

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The Independent Online

Richards retains old skills

The South African cricket idol Barry Richards slammed a brilliant century yesterday to steer his side to a four-wicket win over England in the Masters Cup tournament in Bombay. The South Africans clinched third place in the six-nation tournament by virtue of the victory. The 49-year-old Richards entertained the crowd at the Brabourne stadium with vintage batting, racing to his century off 99 balls as South Africa cruised past the 248-run target. He hit 13 fours and three sixes and shared a 98-run stand for the third wicket with another past master, the left-handed Graeme Pollock (45). Richards, named man of the match, also added 104 runs for the fourth wicket with Clive Rice (47). He was at his aggressive best in racing to his second 50 in just 33 balls, striking seven fours and three sixes off the hapless English attack. Earlier, England recovered from a dismal 93 for five to post a fighting total of 247 after being asked to bat first. The Independent on Sunday's cricket correspondent, Derek Pringle, and Paul Downton added 108 for the sixth wicket in rapid time to rescue England. Our man Pringle hit 64 off 77 balls with four fours and four sixes. Downton struck a run-a-ball 77. Rice claimed five wickets to restrict the English total. India take on the West Indies in the final today.