Cricket: Richards rocks as upstarts are rolled: Natwest Trophy: Glamorgan's giant reawakens - Northamptonshire open defence in style - Middlesex fold - Notts untroubled - Derby's day

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The Independent Online
NO ROMANCE, no shocks, no contest. The 14 Davids who went toe-to-toe with the Goliaths of county cricket yesterday found their slingshots loaded with gravel. Fittingly, no giant was more ruthless than Viv Richards, the colossus who redefined the limited-overs lash.

Needing few reminders that Glamorgan remain the only first-class county apart from Durham never to have won a Lord's final, Richards left no one at Swansea in any doubt as to his desire to face the final curtain on the grandest stage of all. After Oxfordshire had reduced the joint leaders of the county Championship to an unseemly 40 for 3, Antigua's finest antique hustled to a competition-best 162 not out off 144 balls, the highest for Glamorgan in any branch of the one-day game. The last 62 of these occupied just 21 deliveries as Richards swatted five sixes and half a dozen fours, Glamorgan totting up 322 for 5, the highest of the day, to set up a 131- run win.

Confronted by such determination not to lose face, the failure of the lower orders was hardly surprising. Discounting Hertfordshire's dismissal of Derbyshire in a bowl-out two years ago, no minor county had toppled a seed since Cheshire beat Northamptonshire in 1988. Indeed, the minors have only bettered the majors eight times in 30 seasons of 60-over play. Make that 31.

There were some pockets of resistance. Having twice bumped off senior opposition in the Benson and Hedges Cup, Scotland sent Worcestershire a message at Myreside, the visitors sliding from 178 for 2 to a modest 238 for 8 as the off-spinner Jimmy Govan, who failed to make the grade at Northampton, popped up with a frugal spell of 1 for 31.

At 62 for 1 the Scots took tea in optimistic fettle only for Stuart Lampitt to rip through the middle order and secure the spoils by 76 runs.

Having helped Buckinghamshire draw Somerset blood in 1987, Steve Burrow played a full part in giving Leicestershire a good scrap at Marlow. Tim Boon's maiden NatWest hundred steered the Running Foxes to 289 for 9, but the young (and old) Bucks were 100 for 1 at tea before Justin Benson (3 for 13) restored order, Burrow (57 not out) seeing his side to the respectable total of 214.

Essex's attempt to bury Suffolk at Bury St Edmunds brought them face-to-face with no fewer than five old boys, Chelmsford's very own King of Comedy, Ray East, among them. The county champions, though, were less than amused when seamer Ian Graham (4 for 66) reduced them from 210 for 3 to 251 for 9, Graham Gooch having another brush with humility when dispatched by Craig Miller for 14. Salim Malik was the unlikely destroyer of fanciful dreams, taking 4 for 25 with his gravity- defying leg-breaks.

Never one to thrive without a challenge, David Gower was also humbled, making just 11 against the Minor Counties champions, Staffordshire, but Robin Smith spared his colleague's blushes with a bruising century off 125 balls as Hampshire strolled home by seven wickets at Stone.

In previous years, Essex and Worcestershire have both been home and dry by 2.20pm, rendering Surrey's demolition of Dorset by 5.01 positively tardy by comparison. All the same, the day's first result arrived in something of a hurry, Alec Stewart striding to the day's fastest century off 79 balls to lead his side to a 10-wicket waltz, the 12th in 60-over history. Darren Bicknell (54 not out) played a barely audible second fiddle as the openers met a target of 164 in 28.4 overs.

At Telford, Somerset were spurred on by another ebullient opener, Mark Lathwell's 103 off 135 balls contributing weightily to a score of 301 for 4 against Shropshire. The Great White Hope of English batsmanship even picked up a rare wicket as the hosts sank for 185. Given the way Chris Lewis has been underselling himself lately, he could be the new England all- rounder.

NATWEST BANK TROPHY Revised second- round draw: Chelmsford: Essex v Northamptonshire; Cardiff: Glamorgan v Durham; Bristol: Gloucestershire v Yorkshire; Leicester: Leicestershire v Surrey; Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire v Somerset; Hove: Sussex v Hampshire; Edgbaston: Warwickshire v Kent; Worcester: Worcestershire v Derbyshire. Matches to be played on Wednesday 7 July.

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