India v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Chennai

Misbah keen on a more clinical showing

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 30, 2012

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Irfan celebrates after getting rid of Gautam Gambhir, India v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Chennai, December 30, 2012
Misbah-ul-Haq: "We have to really improve our fielding, and our death-over and Powerplay bowling" © BCCI
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni | Misbah-ul-Haq
Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of India
Teams: India | Pakistan

While captain Misbah-ul-Haq was happy Pakistan managed to get off to a winning start in the three-match ODI series against India, he believes the team still has a lot to work on, especially in the field. Pakistan, he said, were fortunate to walk away with the six-wicket win in Chennai.

"Today we were lucky, India gave us a tough time in this situation. They lost five wickets early but still went on to make 227," Misbah was quoted as saying by PTI. "To win the next match, we will have to work hard and improve a fair bit. We have to really improve our fielding, and our death-over and Powerplay bowling. After these [changes to the] ODI rules especially, we have to improve the bowling.

"Also, we have to improve our batting performances; we couldn't chase the target down easily."

While Pakistan's victory-margin was ultimately comfortable, they lost a wicket off the first ball of their innings when Mohammad Hafeez shouldered arms to a Bhuvneshwar Kumar inswinger. From there on, it was slow and edgy progress for Pakistan, who were 21 for 2 in the 11th over when Azhar Ali lobbed a catch to midwicket. Opener Nasir Jamshed was firm though, batting through the innings for 101 not out, and Younis Khan was relatively positive for his 58, ensuring victory.

The hosts' top order too had struggled in this, one of the rare day ODIs in India. Junaid Khan had India reeling with a remarkable spell of swing bowling, in which he bowled Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh in the space of eight balls.

Both Misbah and India captain MS Dhoni said that while it was outstanding bowling, the toss too was important. "It was a good toss to win, but it was an excellent spell by Junaid. There was something for the bowlers but of you don't bowl in the right areas when the ball is seaming, you don't get results," Misbah said. Dhoni agreed: "I think it was the toss to start with. After that they bowled well. When the ball is seaming or swinging, if you pitch it in the right areas it works.

"If you see their bowlers, they bowled up which was good. Generally on these kind of wickets there will be temptation to bowl short because there will be bounce and carry, but they made sure they bowled up and left the batsmen in trouble."

With India tottering at 29 for 5 in the 10th, Suresh Raina and Dhoni began the rebuilding, adding 73 runs. Raina was out short of a half-century but Dhoni, in extremely humid conditions, paced his innings and finished unbeaten. He was 34 off 78 balls without a boundary, got to 50 off 86 and was battling dehydration when he launched, finishing with 113 off 125. The innings won him the Man of the Match award ahead of Jamshed.

Misbah had high praise for Dhoni: "At one stage, it looked as if India would be getting out for 125 but Dhoni's was a brilliant innings. It was more difficult to play in the first half. There was lot of moisture but very well played by Dhoni. He single-handedly took the game away from us, but in the end Nasir too played an extremely good knock."

Dhoni said he would have preferred to have India's top order clicking: "Overall quite happy that I got a century. But going down the order, batting at six or seven, and if you get a 100 ... actually you don't want an opportunity like that because you want your top order to perform."

One of the big concerns for India was the fitness of Kohli, whose ankle gave way under him while he was bowling, resulting in him over-extending his knee. Dhoni said the team would know the details of the injury in "some time". Later, a BCCI release confirmed that while an MRI scan revealed no serious damage, whether Kohli will play the next ODI - on January 3 in Kolkata - is yet to be determined. "All his major ligaments are fine. There is minimal injury fluid in his knee," the release said. "His condition will be monitored, and a decision on whether he will play the second ODI will be taken over the next couple of days."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

There is two positive during this series with India.First for the first time Pakistani batsmen are performing well under pressure.Secondly captain are giving chances to new players.I want to see Haries shohail inplace of Azhar Ali and Zulfiqar Babar in the side in culcutta. I knowMisbah as a captain will not take this gamble but by selecting these two,they can surprise India and boost the confidence ofthese players.Credit must go to Inzamul Haq and fielding coach for producing good result.Go green and be brave.Our prayers are with you.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

It does appear that the indian selectors and authorities are not paying any serious attention to developement of the bowling dept, the difference between the two countries is clearly visible from their quality of the bowling. Clearly, indian do not have real match winning bowlers, where as Pkaistan has kept on producing quality stuff over the years, the bowlers who broke the backbone of the indian batting line had very few macthes of experience behind them, but the quality was unmatchable. That definitely needs serious attention by BCCI. Other area where BCCI needs to look for is to try new leadership in the limited overs catagory of cricket, that is more demanding. By all means, my vote for Dhone as team leader in 5 days format is absolutely there.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

Each and every thing is working fine axcept pakistan batting line up and order because you can afforad Azhar, younas and Misbah only when you are chasing 220 but not when you are chasing 300 or 290. A win covers every thing but we should point out our mistakes. One of umar akmal or umar amin should be in the team in place of either younas or ali.

!-hafeez 2- Nasir 3- younas 4- Umar akmal/ Umar amin 5- misbah( only bcz of captin) 6- malik 7- kamran 8- junaid 9- umar gull 10- saeed ajman 11 - irfan

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 3:52 GMT)

Pakistan can take comfort that they are holding on to the progress they have made over last couple of years. But much hangs in the air about their batting consistancy if also to consider some will sooner leave with a gap while new comers really not settled while being sporadically experimented. Batters need time and experience on different grounds/conditions ( this includes fielding) to be viable in the long run.

With Idia, I think they have run in to a bad patch lately, which happens with all. Their star batters are really not performing and they stil have to rebuild their bowling. But on the brighter note, they batting against a formidable Pakistan bowling which helps. One wld think, this is a good series, where win or loose may not be primay. Again, there are still couple of more matches and so far no indcation that either have been undone till it is over......

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

So Saeed Ajmal doesn't completely rip apart the opposition in what, 2 matches, and some people say take him out? Beyond ridiculous. Ajmal is class and has put up good performances against India too before.

Posted by Nampally on (December 31, 2012, 20:00 GMT)

If Kohli is unfit, it is a blessing in disguise. Get Pujara in the XI to replace Kohli. India badly needs Pujara even with Kohli fit. Why not announce this change immediately by getting Pujara over to Kolkatta. If Kohli somehow gets fit both Pujara & Kohli can play in the XI. India needs both these guys in XI to click if they have any chance of putting up a good show. Dhoni must not risk Kohli bowling his ribbish up & down stuff. Sehwag is the part time bowler. Kohli does not even appear on the radar as a bowler. India also needs a 5th bowler.Mishra is not the right spinner. Get Nadeem in the XI. Pujara & Nadeem will really answer India's needs. B.Kumar, Ishant & Shami/Dinda should be the seamers whilst Ashwin & Nadeem bowl their spinners.Ashwin needs to bat higher #5. He has correct technique & can play pace bowling -was an opening batsman. Yuvi & Dhoni can bat 6 & 7, followed by 4 bowlers. This will be a balanced side with talent & experience + 5 bowlers who can bowl economically!

Posted by NasserAliKhan on (December 31, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Misbah said it. Had India won the toss and put Pakistan into bat, Pakistan would have lost this match, and as a Pakistani, I agree, simply because of our weak batting. The only real batsmen we have are Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Nasir Jamshed, and Mohammad Hafeez. Younis Khan is a splendid test batsman but a poor performer in ODIs. For India to get to 227 /6 from 29/5 in 10 overs, requires a batsman who arguably is the best ODI batsman in the world. Dhoni has an unbelievable average of 52.00 - in over 200 matches - just compare that to the Pakistanis. Dhoni has played, in my opinion the 2nd best ODI innings ever (the best being Kapil Dev, another Indian, in WC 1983 v NZ). Pakistan has been lucky to have won given their poor batting and really sub-standard fielding. Dhoni would have been out for 16 had the fielders been South African, Australian, New Zealander, or English. Overall though, Pakistan is superior to India, because of its bowling resources in both pace and spin.

Posted by dmqi on (December 31, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

Ajmal has become a good for nothing bowler in critical match against strong batting. Put him to rest and watch others playing. Need to give chance to young bowlers.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

if india make a big total then its gonna get difficult for pakistani batting line-up to chase it ......and to be honest misbah is doing to asad shafiq and harris sohail what inzimam did to asim kamal !

Posted by naxif on (December 31, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

We Pakistanis can never appreciate any sensible player that we have in our team. We need the likes of Azhar, Younas and Misbah in our middle order for ODIs and Tests. And as far as Umar Akmal is concerned, i don't understand that what kind of talent people see in him . . . he's merely a slogger and nothing else and can't play a single proper cricketing shot at all. Perhaps if people pay more attention, all the tuk-tuks have done more for pakistani cricket than the boom-booms . . .

Posted by Neo2K on (December 31, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

Misbah needs to go sorry to say that, he has given enough to Pak cricket which everyone should be thankful but Pakistan cricket need to build a team under a younger Captain which can lead them next few years and into the World Cup. Hafeez does have potential to be the Captain in the longer formats, or evalute Azhar Ali, he is a young lad with lots of potential as a player, give him proper guidance and coaching as a leader. Also insert a geniune All rounder in the longer format which can bat later in the innings, Hammad Azam, Fawad Alam or any good candidate from domestic circuit.

Posted by voyager on (December 31, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

@Mohim Zaman, Misbah will leave when time comes, it is because of his cool leadership that you are enjoying this cricket team and mostly positive results. Before that there were only embarassments and insults, players going to jail, infighting, ball chewing, fines etc so give credit to the man for playing competitively and ethically and giving you respect as a fan. His own perforamance and fitness is also pretty good. We whould play and strategize on a year to year and season to season basis, loosing this year for the a WC 3 years from now is not a good idea, it has never worked I a am seeing this since 80s. All your WC prep comes to a naught by a single bad day defeat in a QF/SF stage. Australia had success due to their amazing structure, they are never afraid of playing old cricketer if he adds value, and they never introduce a 20 year old just for the future promise.

Posted by khan0342 on (December 31, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

Well it was not good to see Indians blaming the loss on Sehwag and Gautam and wanting them to be replaced by new guys just on that one match result. If Sehwag was not that good he should not have been selected at first place. Now if he is he will definitely play. Had Misbah caught that catch and Indian team bundled out for under 100 then who would have been held responsible. All saying Dhoni played responsible innings was that shot by any means a responsible shot. My point is that its the team that wins and lose. What we are seeing now is that if Dhoni has won and his team has lost. The reality here is that Dhoni has lost it too. He did not came at a time when Sehwag,Gautam,Kohli,Yuvi and Rohit had to play. Thankfully now they won't blame it on foreign conditions and Tendulkar,Dravid or Laxman. Hopefully Anwar Ali replaces Umar Gul. If Irfan is not 100% fit let's play Wahab. Azhar Ali should be there having 50 average shows he has the ability, strike rate will improve. Can't replace him with Umar Akmal who looks like another Afridi. Will love to see if Azhar starts playing through the covers(not against kumar though). that would be crazy. Proud Pakistani.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

F or god sake tell Misbah to retire plsss for Pakidsatn crickets.still Asad safiq ,Umar akmal and Haris Sohail in line .don't waste these talented plaayers by sittinng sideline!!!!!!!Isthere any positive outcome for pakistan crickets for keeping him as captain,Definately he is not going to play 2015 world cup!!!!!?????or he will play..............

Posted by mazii on (December 31, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

Azhar Ali is a technically sound batsmen and he showed it against England especially he was good against James Anderson. I know that he isn't an aggressive batsmen and don't have enough shots, but had he not played the way he did in the last match, Pakistan could have lost too many wickets at that crucial juncture. He needs time to create shots of his own. He might be slow but he is effective.

Posted by Akhter786 on (December 31, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

Misbah off course u have to improve ur fielding the most u dropped a sitter

but i am confused what is he doing in Pakistan team afterall,

should he not retire atleast he should be told ab rehne b do bohat khel liya tuk tuk

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

Pakistan has started with the win in the 1st match but they really need to come hard at India in the 2nd match. Pakistan should try Haris Sohail & Anwar Ali in for Azhar & Irfan in 2nd ODI. Pakistan should save Irfan for overseas tours especially in SA, Aus & WI whereas Haris is a excellent batsmen has better strike rates and averages frm Azhar in all formats plus a left handed bat in middle is gud for a team combination.Team in second ODi should be: 1 Nasir Jamshed 2 Kamran Akmal 3 Muhammad Hafeez 4 Younis Khan 5 Haris Sohail 6 Shoaib Malik 7 Misbah-Ul-Haq 8 Anwar Ali 9 Umar Gul 10 Junaid Khan 11 Saeed Ajmal / Zulqurnain Babar

I think Ajmal needs break in 2nd ODI and Zulqarnain Babar should be tried as he is left handed spin bowler who can cause difficulty to Indian bastmen like Panesar did in tests. As Indians played Ajmal well and as Ajmal has went wicket less in previous two matches also sums up his recent form.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

Importance of the (contrasting) knowcks of Azhar Ali and Younis Khan's cannot be emphasized enough. While Azhar saw off the new ball which was snaking around, Younis gave the chase the impetus that it required. Return of form for Younis Khan bodes well for Team Pakistan.

In future matches, whenever Pakistan has a team down on the mat, they should continue attacking. Attacking fields for hafeez may well have meant early closure to Indian innings.

Posted by Pathiyal on (December 31, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

pakistan luked a much better team combination compared to india's. for india none of the part timers clicked. great batting from nasir jamshed...i was just searching for him for a while and now i found him :-) great innings!

Posted by Sheikasif on (December 31, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

@babar/kazmi, grow up and get a life...both teams are good and whoever wins will do so becoz they deserved. dont belittle any team. dont forget that India is worldchamp and has very talented players. if bangladesh can beat pak, India surely can also beat them at any time. bad umpire decisons and good bowling from junaid won pak the match..if india has won toss, result may have been totally different.

Posted by StarsnStumps on (December 31, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

Why are people bashing Azhar Ali? His job was to ensure Pak did not lose quick wickets like india did and he did PART of his job ... a small part but he played out 37 balls before he got out ... shielded Nasir who went on to win the match ... the hook was misjudged but he had countered Kumar's swing very well and was playing with soft hands and not "pushing" at the ball like sunny said the indians did ... you need a no.3 like that now especially with 2 new balls

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

Hafeez is fast becoming one of the best....umar akmal needs to sit out as there are so many pakistani batsmen waiting in line...asad shafiq..azhar ali...ahmad shehzad....even imran nazir..also shoaib malik performing well...bowling looks promising too...junaid...wahab...hammad azam....irfan khan but he needs to be in the slips and not patrolling the outfields..gul is there too...immense talent ....younis ...misbah...nasir..kamran...saeed ajmal..lack of international cricket is doing pakistan quite good..everyone is performing and hungry...awesome job all...wish you best.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 3:29 GMT)

dont drop azhar coz he has performed more consistently than umar akmal....umar akmal is a great talent but he takes his place for granted.azhar and asad shafiq are both gud batsman and you will see them performing briskly in the future...

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 2:48 GMT)

Mark my words on it. India has already bought the 2nd match!! BCCI doesn't want the stadium empty in the 3rd ODI.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 2:32 GMT)

if dhoni wins a match he always says it's not the toss as one cannot predict it but y now he's complaini abt it... he's not d captain he used 2 b... he should stop makin excuses n concentrate on his battin

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 2:08 GMT)

I don't know why we don't appreciate Misbah's captainship? He is the best captain and very honest player. Do you want Salman Butt back as captain? He has captained a very average team in his years as captain but has more successful record than any other Pakistani Captain. Did Dhoni win today or Misbah? Also check Misbah's average in tests and ODI he is the most successful batsman in the team. Umer Akmal is useless, We should thank Misbah for the victories he has provided, do u remember 3-0 series victory in UAE? Hafeez has to learn a lot. Why not Afridi as captain once Misbah retires? Friends please be fair with Misbah, our last captain spent time in jail, took bribes to lose! Misbah came in and we started winning. He should stay as long as possible to groom the team. It is the success which matters, he bats slow when he has to save the team. Or you want him to bat like Afridi?

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 2:06 GMT)

MOM were Junaid and Dhoni jointly . Pakistan was lucky to win as toss played most important part so "MOM" is "Toss". Umpires were not giving out to any Pakistani batsmen so MOM" could be both " Umpires" they played the most important par in Pakistan win. Jamshed was lucky to be there but looks like the most stylish batsman in the history. Sachin did retire but he was the cutest cricketer and number 2 is Sehwag. I cant believe Younis still can play cricket. Azhar Ali is a test palyer not one day player so bring some new blood.

Dhoni does what is needed to be done but if players and fielders make mistake then what can Dhoni do. I am a Pakistani and I found Dhoni is great captain but probably his team has to be motivated with love.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 31, 2012, 2:06 GMT)

Pakistan needs to improve its fielding Yes, Misbah needs to start catching. It was such as easy catch that I could have taken that with my eyes closed standing on one leg looking directly into sun! If Misbah would have taken his catch, India would have finished at 70-80 odd and match would have finished ages ago. I ended up staying late watching India's agony being prolonged! Moving forward, Pakistan should be careful and resist temptation to drop Azhar Ali. This guy is a very fine batsman who has been Pakistan's star in last 12-18 months. Umer AKmal had enough chances and should continue being sidelined until he learns how to win matches. If Azhar fails again then Pak should consider Harris Sohil. I have seen the guy play and he is very very good! India has got numerous selection issues. I must also point out that Bhuvensh Kumar is a one track bowler who will do well in helpful conditions but will be totally useless on flat tracks as seen in second T20. He should not be overhyped!

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

Umar Akmal & Wahab should replace Azhar Ali and M Irfan. M Irfan has good carry and bounce but is not very accurate and not much swing. Wahab has better swing and accuracy. Azhar wont be a good choice on batting track which i am expecting in the next game like we saw on the 2nd T20. Actually Misbah should replaced instead of Azhar but unfortunately he is the captain.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 31, 2012, 1:05 GMT)

AZHAR ALI did his job supurbly. Had it not been him, Pakistan could have lost a couple of more wickets to B.kumar. Biggest worry for Pakistan is that Said Ajmal is not taking wickets and is leaking runs. I would like to see Zulfiqar Baber bowl to indians. It would be best test of his bowling. Pakistan got lucky today in many ways but India won't be 29/5 any next time. Irfan is wonderful but needs some tricks and also he cant swing the ball.

Posted by dontlikecricket on (December 31, 2012, 0:08 GMT)

I think Pak supporters are far too favour in favour of "hitters" then genuine batsmen. Playing Azhar was a good decision on this difficult pitch. His role is to see off initial overs and make batting easier for middle order. Misbah should play as long as he is fit enough. He has brought stability and calmness in Pak team since summer of 2010. Pak needs him for next couple of years until team settles down (both one day and test) Umar Akmal needs to improve his batting. He is very talented but has very poor batting attitude. By dropping him Pak management has shown that no longer a "flashy" player is more important than the composition of team.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (December 30, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

Misbah good job but please dont bring your very good test team in one days as well. Azhar is a test material. Umar Akmal should be in playing eleven. And please enough with gul. get Anwar ali to replace him. Ideally haris Sohail should be playing to replace shaoib malik. I hope ehsan adil gets a chance in next series. "there is no future in sohail tanvir, spare him for clubs and premier leagues"

Posted by Naeem578 on (December 30, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

That's why Pak cricket is improving day by day bcoz they acknowledge what they have done wrong and are never satisfied but i am afraid india's slide will continue as they don't accept defeat rather come up with different excuses one way or the other. @ Hassan Ul Banna: Mate Jamshed first fielded for 50 overs then batted for 48 overs completly and not showed signs of tiredness much if that doesn't show you his fitness than . . . .

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 22:31 GMT)

good decision to drop umer akmal, keep the same team for next odi and please reject any offer from india as india will buy next match to be in the series.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 22:19 GMT)

I don't see why everyone is despising Azhar Ali. In all honesty, although his innings might have looked poor on paper, if you put it in context of the match they were really valuable. He helped kill the new ball and prevented the wickets from falling when PAK was really vulnerable. And wickets at that stage would have been crucial and the match would most likely have a different outcome. B Kumar looks dangerous only on a helpful wicket and only first 2-3 overs.

Posted by uk2009 on (December 30, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

time for Misbah to retire from one dayers. he is a liability for the team and occupying the place of a youngster like Haris Sohail. Hafeez should take over the captaincy. Azhar Ali is not suitable for one dayers.

Posted by IshaqMalik on (December 30, 2012, 20:15 GMT)

This is a winner's attitude, always keeping an eye on things that can be improved and showing humility. dhoni should take a leaf from misbah's book instead of making excuses.

Posted by FRRR on (December 30, 2012, 19:49 GMT)

@Aswin ... A good pitch is one which has something for both bowlers and batsmen. Meanwhile, you are right, india plays on flat wickets and score runs. Today the poor technique of indian batting was exposed by some good quality bowling by Pakistan.

india will never earn respect by making flat wickets.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 19:49 GMT)

Misbah needs to start with himself. If he held on to a simple catch, it would have been all over before the sun went down

Posted by nabeel89 on (December 30, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

I don't think it's just India. it's the problem with every cricket playing nation in that part of the world; Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka or Bangadesh. there's always struggle when bowl is doing a fair bit! if Pakistan had batted first it might have been the same. Agree with @Aswin Anil Kumar, it does take a skill wo win on a flat track but i think the general adaption is lacking in Indian batting line up. it also takes a real batting skill to adapt well and produce an innings, such as the likes of Dhoni and especially Nasir Jamshed (since he faced the real music)

Posted by noplay on (December 30, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

I would hope Misbah had high praise for Dhoni... after all he was the architect. It would also be in order for Dhoni to buy Misbah a nice gift from that Man of the Match award

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

pakistani crickters need to improve there fitness level... jamshed n irfan particularly need to consider this...

Posted by IAS2009 on (December 30, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

umar akmal should play instead of Azhar. Misbah slow batting is enough already. I think Hafeez should be captain for ODI also.

Posted by UsmanMuhammad on (December 30, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

I don't like Misbah favouring Azhar Ali over Umar Akmal - that was below average decision. Pakistan has plenty of senior batsmen who approach the game taking time on the wicket which may not help when chasing scores in range of 300. They need more flamboyance in the batting order and Umar Akmal is best suited to provide that considering given resources. Hence Azhar out and Umar Akmal in should be plan for next game.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

@FRRR - What IS a good pitch ? It seems everyone likes to call India a flat-track bully, but no one remembers that it takes skill to win on a flat track too..

Posted by FRRR on (December 30, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

Pakistan deserves to win this series. They are a better bowling side with a good batting power. Meanwhile, india lacks quality in bowling department and their batting is also suited for flat pitches and not good cricket pitches.

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