While Rahkeem Cornwall went wicketless in his first outing of the #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford in Manchester on Friday, his vice-captain thinks the big off-break bowler had a good outing.

Cornwall ended the first day of the third Test, with the West Indies and England locked 1-1, with figures of 0-71 from 21 overs, while England were 258-4.

England’s batsmen, except for an lbw shout looked comfortable against Cornwall’s spin and when Ollie Pope, 91, and Jos Buttler, 56, started coming down the wicket, Cornwall struggled to keep them back in their crease.

Despite the struggles which saw Cornwall go at 3.38 runs per over, the most expensive of the West Indies bowlers, Brathwaite still believed it was a good outing.

“I thought Rahkeem was good. The pitch spun a bit and I thought he controlled the runs,” said Brathwaite.

Cornwall was involved in something spectacular though, a one-handed grab at slip that came from the slashing blade of Rory Burns, 57, off the bowling of Roston Chase.

Chase only bowled eight overs but had more luck than Cornwall, bagging 1-24.

But according to Brathwaite, there is enough there for Cornwall to be hopeful about.

“He didn’t go for too many runs, which was good. It was unfortunate that he didn’t get a wicket but I thought he was decent,” said the West Indies vice-captain.

The best of the West Indies bowlers was kemar Roach, who ended the day with 2-56, while Shannon Gabriel, 0-47, and Jason Holder, 0-45, were not as penetrative as in previous Tests.

West Indies vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite has backed wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich to bounce back after a forgettable day behind the stumps.

The 28-year-old gloveman often failed to get things right to start the decisive Test, with a day characterised by fumbles and being wrong-footed.  The Windies managed some control, bar a late run from England, but Dowrich never really look at ease behind the wicket. 

In defense of his teammate, however, Brathwaite was adamant that things were not as easy as they looked and was confident the player would be much improved for the second day.

“He had a tough day but he’s a strong guy so I know he’ll be looking to bounce back,” Brathwaite told members of the media, via a Zoom Press Conference, in assessing the players performance.

“I’m looking for him to improve, it has to be up from here.  We just have to keep supporting him.  Obviously, the ball was swinging quite late so it wasn’t easy but tomorrow he will be better,” he added.

Dowrich has also had a difficult time with the bat for the series, with the exception of a solid 61 in the first innings of the first Test.  The player was dismissed, without scoring, in both innings of the second Test, which England won by 113 runs.

West Indies vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite points to the second morning of the third and decisive Test against England as being crucial after a partnership between Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler wrested their early advantage on Friday at Old Trafford.

England are in a good position, having ended the day on 258-4, a far cry from the 122-4 they were in when Buttler came to the crease.

Before that, Kemar Roach had removed second-Test century-maker, Dom Sibley, for a duck, trapping him leg before wicket in the first over of the day.

Then came the run out of Joe Root for 17, Roston Chase clipping the bales.

Ben Stokes and opener Rory Burns tried to fashion a recovery before the latter was pushed back with some short deliveries before being bowled by Roach for 20.

The West Indies were looking good with England at 92-3, and when Burns was caught brilliantly at slip by Rahkeem Cornwall off the bowling of Roston Chase for 57, the West Indies were in great shape with two new batsmen and England teetering at 122-4.

But that’s where it ended as Pope, 91, and Buttler, 56, saw out the day in relative comfort, their partnership now worth 136.  

“I thought we started very well. Obviously Buttler and Pope had a good partnership, they batted well and so we know we have some hard work come tomorrow,” said Brathwaite in a press conference following stumps.

While Pope and Buttler have rescued England from a precarious position, Brathwaite does not believe the game has gotten away from the West Indies and tomorrow brings a fresh opportunity.

“We had a plan and obviously to bowl first but it’s been a pretty even day and obviously good from the two at the crease but I think tomorrow we have to start well and look to limit them to as few as possible,” said Brathwaite.

While tomorrow’s morning session is important, Brathwaite says the West Indies won’t panic and will stick to their plans and be patient.

“We have to start well and by that I mean we don’t have to rush wickets. I think if we build pressure by bowling a lot of dot balls and no boundary balls, that will create pressure to bring wickets. We don’t have to rush it in the morning session, I believe once we keep it tight, the tightness will bring wickets,” he said.

The West Indies are in danger of losing the second Test in #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford, in Manchester.

At lunch on the final day, the West Indies have already lost their openers and Shai Hope with just 25 runs on the board but more importantly, still with 74 overs to face and 287 runs to get.

England only batted for 11 overs of the morning session as Ben Stokes went into limited-overs mode to help them push their lead to 311 before a declaration 11 overs into the day.

Stokes was unbeaten on 78 off 57 balls as England declared on 129-3, giving the hosts 85 overs to bowl out the West Indies and tie the three-match series at 1-1. They will have two new balls to get the victory.

Any result looks possible on the final day — as was the case in the first Test in Southampton last week, when the Windies won by four wickets after chasing down 200 for victory.

West Indies' aim will likely be survival, though, with the victory target of 312 unlikely.

Stokes smashed two sixes over long-off as the big-hitting allrounder and England captain Joe Root put on 53 runs in the first 43 balls of the morning before Root was run out for 22 — effectively sacrificing his own wicket to get Stokes back on strike.

Now alongside Ollie Pope (12 not out), Stokes still had time to slog Jason Holder down the ground for another six, pushing the lead past 300, before Root called them back in.

By then, England had made 92 runs off 66 balls.

The second new ball will be available for England after 80 overs.

John Campbell, 4, was the first to go, going caught behind off the bowling of Stuart Broad, while his opening partner Kraigg Brathwaite was trapped on the crease off the bowling of Chris Woakes for 12.

Shai Hope’s struggles with the bat have also continued as Broad got a delivery to nip back at him, taking the top of off stump, with the batsman hapless after his decision to play back to a fullish delivery.

Roston Chase, yest to score, and Shamarh Brooks, 2, are the batsmen at the crease.

Windies vice skipper, Kraigg Brathwaite, maintains fast bowler Kemar Roach has been unlucky not to etch his name in the wickets taken column so far in the England series.

Roach was the undisputed star of the series, with the ball, when the West Indies defeated England 2-1 in the Caribbean last year.  Figures of 5 for 17, 4 for 52, and 4 for 48 routinely found a place on the scorecard for the pace bowler.

So far, in the current England series, Roach has caused a few uncomfortable moments for the England batsman but is yet to secure any kind of breakthrough.  The bowler has nonetheless enjoyed good spells.  In the first innings of the first Test, despite not claiming a wicket, Roach conceded just 41 runs in 19 overs for an economy rate of 2.15.  In the second, he went for 50 off 22 overs, an economy rate of 2.27.  On both occasions, the bowler was second to only Windies captain Jason Holder, in terms of economy rate.

In the second Test so far, Roach has bowled 20 overs with 5 maidens, while conceding 38 runs.  Brathwaite, however, backs the player to make a breakthrough soon.

“I think in the areas he bowled he was just a little bit unlucky (to not get a wicket).  Once he keeps up that pressure, I’m sure he will get wickets tomorrow (Friday),” Brathwaite said.

West Indies vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite has been quick to dismiss assertions the team will have a significant advantage with three key bowlers missing from the England line-up.

Pace bowlers Jofra Archer, James Anderson, and Mark Wood are missing from the England team for the second Test, which could be seen to leave the hosts short on firepower.  While Anderson and Wood have been rested with a long summer of Test cricket ahead, Archer has been omitted after breaking the protocol by leaving the series’ bio-secure environment.

Even without the trio, however, Brathwaite believes England has plenty of bowling options to remain dangerous.

“I wouldn’t say we have an advantage, they still have plenty of world-class players.  There is still Broad, Curran, and Woakes, these guys do well, so it will still be challenging,” Brathwaite told members of the media via a Zoom press conference on Thursday.

“I think it will be very challenging because they are all still world-class players,” he added.

In addition to the above-mentioned bowlers, England will also still have the service of all-rounder Ben Stokes with the ball.  Stokes claimed 6 wickets for England in the first Test, which ended in a four-wicket win for the West Indies.  Broad was omitted from the line-up for the first Test.

West Indies vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite insists the team will look to hit the ground running on Friday’s second day, of the second Test, after a long day's toil to start the first.

England will resume play in a strong position to post a big total, with a settled Dom Sibley (86) and Ben Stokes (59) at the heart of the team’s first day total of 207 for 3. 

On Thursday’s first day’s play, spinner Roston Chase secured a breakthrough for the Windies that had left England wobbly at 29 for 2.  Following the dismissal of returning England skipper Joe Root, (23), by Alzarri Joseph, Sibley and Stokes combined to frustrate the West Indies.

With the new ball available for the start of the second day, however, Brathwaite is confident the team can secure a much-needed breakthrough.

“Obviously we would have loved more wickets, but I think we kept in touch for the day, which was good for us.  We kept the pressure on.  Obviously, unfortunately, we did not take the few chances that we had, but tomorrow it is very important for us to start back strong,” Brathwaite told members of the media via a Zoom press conference at the close of the day’s play.

Brathwaite believes keeping the England team at, or under, 350 would be a good target for the West Indies.

“It’s a good pitch and they batted well.  So tomorrow is key for us to start well, even if we don’t get wickets we have to be tight.”

West Indies vice-captain, Kraigg Brathwaite said his side would not panic despite a strong showing from England on the first day of their second Test in the #RaiseTheBat series at Old Trafford, Manchester on Thursday.

West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood has revealed his friend and mentor Andre Russell had mixed feelings about his heroic performance against England, as the Caribbean team went up 1-0, at Southampton, in the opening match of the ongoing Test series.

Blackwood crafted a crucial 95 from 154, to provide the backbone of the team’s second innings, in a four-wicket win over England.  Despite the player's herculean effort, there was a ting of disappointment as he was caught by James Anderson, off Ben Stokes, just five runs short of what would have been a second Test century.

“He (Russell) was very proud but he said he had mixed feelings.  He was happy and sad at the same time because he really wanted me to score the hundred, but happy that I scored some runs and eventually the team won,” Blackwood told members of the media during a Zoom press conference on Tuesday.

The batsman also credited his improvement to a newly acquired fierce work ethic, which has seen himself and compatriot Russell putting in the required hours on and off the pitch.

“Over the past year or so I have been working hard with Andre.  Andre Russell is like my mentor, so we work every single day, seven days a week.  So, I am just pleased now to come and score some runs.  It shows that once you put in the work you will get the runs,” he added.

West Indies racked up a 114-run first innings lead against England to take control of the first Test at the Rose Bowl on day three.

Kraigg Brathwaite (65) and Shane Dowrich (61) led the way for the tourists, who benefitted from valuable contributions all the way down the order as they reached 318 all out on Friday.

That was in stark contrast to England's efforts as they were skittled for 204, although openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley dug in to negotiate a tricky evening stint and reach stumps at 15-0.

Having made the most of bowling at England under leaden skies on Thursday, West Indies capitalised on the clouds parting to steadily compile a position of strength.

Denied helpful overhead conditions, the home attack were confronted by a fairly benign surface – one that meant Jofra Archer being denied an lbw verdict against Shai Hope due to overstepping was an error they could ill afford.

That moment in itself did not prove too costly as Hope was caught at slip by Ben Stokes for 16 after swiping at Dom Bess, the off-spinner who bowled tidily and also dismissed Jermaine Blackwood to claim 2-51.

But Archer would end the innings wicketless, with stand-in skipper Stokes (4-49) and James Anderson (3-62) sharing seven scalps.

Brathwaite could not turn his half-century into something more substantial, as he shuffled across to be trapped in front by Stokes, while Shamarh Brooks drove delightfully before edging Anderson behind to Jos Buttler for 39.

Roston Chase took on the anchor role – in stark contrast to Blackwood's devil-may-care efforts – and was trapped on the crease by Anderson when three shy of a richly deserved fifty.

Stokes removed opposite number Jason Holder cheaply and bowled Alzarri Joseph for a breezy 18, with Shannon Gabriel falling in similar fashion to Mark Wood.

Dowrich, who punished the England pacemen whenever they erred in line or length, was the penultimate man to fall, edging Stokes through to Buttler.

Gabriel, Holder and Kemar Roach found Burns and Sibley to be in resilient mood, although England will hope their hard yards have just begun.

 

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF FOR BRATHWAITE

Brathwaite had not passed 50 in 21 Test innings heading into the series opener, meaning the prospect of skilled seam attack in English conditions with a Dukes ball might have filled him with dread. If it did, it certainly did not show, as he masterfully laid a platform. The 27-year-old slightly opening his stance, allowing him to access the on-side and confidently play the in-swinger, looks a shrewd adjustment.

TOIL AND LITTLE REWARD FOR ENGLAND QUICKS

Historically, this rivalry has been dominated by West Indies pacemen, so there was obvious excitement around England fielding two men capable of frequently hitting 90 miles per hour and beyond. However, Wood and Archer turned in combined figures of 1-135. The pair will surely fire in tandem at Test level soon – maybe even in the second innings here – but their struggles jarred as a brooding Stuart Broad watched on from the sidelines.

MOMENT OF THE DAY – ANDERSON HANGS ON TO REMOVE CAVALIER BLACKWOOD

West Indies day was a tale of patience and steady accumulation, very much classic Test cricket. The match situation encouraged Blackwood to try and take the action away from England, but his approach sat in hilarious contrast to his more measured team-mates. It felt like the 28-year-old played several expansive attacking shots for each of the 12 runs he ended up scoring, although Anderson's grab at mid-off to end a bizarre and entertaining interlude was as sharp as they come.

West Indies opening batsman, Kraigg Brathwaite, has admitted it was a bit of a relief to put runs on the board after heading into the ongoing series, against England, on the back of a lean spell.

With lots of talk heading into the Test focused around the ability of the West Indies top order, Brathwaite crafted an enterprising 65 from 125 balls.  Prior to that, the batsman averaged just 16 from his last six Tests, to see his overall average drop to 33.

Since the start of the series, however, Brathwaite has looked more in line with the player who had a solid performance for the West Indies in 2017, scoring 40 in the first Test, before adding scores of 134 and 95 in a surprise win for the team in the second.

“I’m very happy to have got a score.  It was tough, I was obviously thinking about getting runs, personally, it was tough.  What I tried to focus on was building that foundation for my team,” Brathwaite said of the innings.

“I know I could bat three hours in a game that’s what I was really focusing on.  It was a tough period, but I have accepted that you have to go through these periods to be good or great.  I just decided to keep my mind nice and strong and trust my ability,” he added.

Brathwaite's innings kickstarted the tourists reply to England's 204 all out, with the Caribbean side scoring 318 all-out to rack up a 114-run against England at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.

The West Indies had contributions all the way down their line-up with Shamarh Brooks, 39, John Campbell, 28, Shane Dowrich, 61, and Roston Chase, 47, all contributing to the total. There was even a nice cameo from Alzarri Joseph, 18.

England have responded to the West Indies lead with Rory Burns (10) and Dom Sibley (5), fighting off an onslaught of good bowling from Kemar Roach, Gabriel, and Holder.

On the eve of the West Indies historic bio-secure Test series against England, I thought it interesting to take a look back at the last time the Caribbean outfit had any good days in England.

The West Indies are about to play against England in England for the Wisden Trophy and we at SportsMax thought it may be interesting to look back at the best performances from the Caribbean side in that country.

The West Indies lead England in head to heads, 57-49, with 51 drawn games between the teams.

The teams began to play for the Wisden Trophy in 1963 and since then have won the series 14 times to England’s 10, though this year’s hosts have been dominant recently, save for last year when the West Indies wrested the trophy from them in a 2-1 win. There have been three drawn series since 1963.

But performing in England has always been tough and good performances there have always been counted at a premium, living in the memories of batsmen, bowlers and fans for a very very long time.

Here are the performances that stand out in my mind, tell me if you have others you remember. Comment on these performances on Facebook or Twitter, I wouldn’t mind the trip down memory lane.

 

Best XI West Indian performances in England

 

Allan Rae and Frank Worrell lay into England (The Oval 1950)

Centuries from Allan Rae and Frank Worrell helped the West Indies to win their first series against England in England.

The West Indies would end up winning the series 3-1 but that was set up from the first innings of the first Test where, electing to bat first, Rae bat for five hours to score 109, while Worrell, batting at number three, did the same to score 138.

The West Indies would go on to score 503, before limiting England to 344 and 103 to win by an innings and 56 runs.

 

Sobers goes on show, Charlie Griffiths works up a head of steam (Headingley (1963)

Sir Garfield Sobers scored 102 against England at Headingley as the West Indies won the fourth Test of their 1963 series against England, setting up a first-innings total of 397, which quickly turned into a 223-run lead thanks to Charlie Griffiths’ 6-36. The performances set up a 221-run victory and the series would end 3-1 in favour of the visitors.

 

Lance Gibbs turns Old Trafford on its head (Old Trafford, 1966)

In 1966 Lance Gibbs was the greatest spinner in the world and England crumbled at the feet of his twirling in the first Test of their series. Following on from Garfield Sobers’ 161 in a first innings at Old Trafford where the West Indies scored 484, Gibbs’ 5-37 left England flapping at 167 all out. The follow-on didn’t go any better for the hosts, with Gibbs bagging 5-69 from a marathon 41 overs of bowling. The West Indies would go on to win that 1966 series 3-1.

 

Lloyd, Boyce take over the Oval (The Oval, 1973)

Cllive Lloyd scored 132 in the first innings of the first Test at The Oval in 1973, but that was just part of the story of the way the West Indies dominated made their way to a 158-run victory and a 2-0 series win against England. Keith Boyce only played 21 Tests for the West Indies over the course of four years but in 1973 England had no answer to him. Lloyd’s Innings proved the catalyst fo the West Indies’ 415-run first innings byt then Boyce returned to bag 5-70 to restrict England to 257 and give the visitors a decided advantage. The West Indies would quickly score 255 before Boyce was back at it again, taking 6-77 on the way to dismissing England for 255.

 

VIV Richards shows complete dominance (Trent Bridge, 1976)

Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards is a name that really needs no introduction and England would feel the brunt of his brutality on many occasions. In 1976, the West Indies won a five-Test series in England 3-0, but Richards was dominant from ball one. Batting at his customary number three in the first Test of the series, Richards would help the West Indies to 494 runs in a first innings where he slammed 232. When England responded with 332 in their first innings, the West Indies needed to score quick runs so they could declare with enough time to bowl England out a second time. Richards obliged with 63 and even though the match ended in a draw, the performance of the Master Blaster.

 

Gordon Greenidge puts his name in the Lord’s book in emphatic style  (Lord’s 1984)

The second Test of a series against England at Lord’s had a number of brilliant performances from both teams. England’s Graeme Fowler had scored a fighting 106 in his side’s 286. The low total was brought about by Malcolm Marshall’s special bowling performance of 6-85. That bowling performance was superseded by Ian Botham’s 8-103 to help restrict the West Indies to 245. In the second innings, England declared on 300-9 thanks to Allan Lamb’s 110. Chasing 341 in the second innings, Gordon Greenidge eclipsed all those performances with a sparkling 214 not out, as the West Indies romped to 344-1 in just 66.1 overs. Larry Gomes got a front seat to the action, scoring 92. The West Indies would go on to win the series 5-0.

 

Malcolm Marshall leaves England a little short (Lord’s 1988)

From the lates 1970s until the mid-1990s the West Indies could depend on one part or another of their team to pull them out of tough situations. In the second Test of their 1988 Wisden Trophy series against England, they were up against it early with Gus Logie’s 81 helping the West Indies to just 209. But Malcolm Marshall proved that any total could be enough, destroying England with 6-32 and leaving the game well balanced and maybe giving the West Indies a slight advantage.

Gordon Greenidge’s 103 gave the West Indies a good lead headed into England’s second innings and despite Allan Lamb’s 113, Marshall’s brilliance meant they never got close. The West Indies won by 134 runs and Marshall took 4-60 to end with figures of 10-92.

 

The Ambrose and Walsh show take over Trent Bridge (Trent Bridge, 1991)

The West Indies conveyor belt of fastbowlers had begun to run dry by 1991 but they still had the services of Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Andrew Walsh and Curtly Ambrose. And while they would lose the Wisden Trophy to England that year, there was one Test at Trent Bridge where Ambrose and Walsh reminded the world of the great days of fastbowling and pointed to what would become the most successful opening bowling partnership in World cricket for the next 10 years. In the first innings, led by Graeme Gooch’s 68, England scored 300 all out, but it would have been a much higher total had it not been for 34 overs from Ambrose that yielded 5-74. The West Indies would go into the second innings with a healthy 97-run lead, thanks in large part to Viv Richards’ 80. When England bat again, Walsh made sure the West Indies would not have much to chase, bagging 4-64. In that England second innings, Ambrose had 3-61.

 

Richie Richardson plays anchor role (Edgbaston, 1991)

Richie Richardson had the reputation for being an aggressive batsman, who hooked and pulled his way out of trouble for the most part, but at Edgbaston, in 1991 a different type of batsman was called for. England had been dismissed for 188 courtesy of Malcolm Marshall, 4-33, and Curtly Ambrose, 3-64. But the West Indies were in trouble with the bat as well, with Chris Lewis running rampant for England with 6-111. Standing in the way though, Richardson, recognizing that wickets were falling all around him, faced 229 deliveries to score 104, his strike rate of 45.41, unusually low for his aggressive nature. The innings helped the West Indies to 292 and set up a seven-wicket win  

 

Lara’s 179, Hooper’s 127 keeps things even against England (Kennington Oval, 1995)

With the six-Test series tied at 2-2 headed into the final game, the West Indies, a team in decline by 1995, needed to make sure they did not lose.

England had scored 454 thanks to Graeme Hick’s 96 and despite Curtly Ambrose’s 5-96. Replying, the West Indies scored 692-8, building a lead of  238 to make sure the game could not be lost. The total is still the biggest without featuring a double-century from a batsman, but there was still much brilliance on show. Brian Lara for instance, scored a masterful 179 from just 206 deliveries, slamming 26 fours and a six. But Lara didn’t have to do it alone, with Carl Hooper scoring 127, skipper Richie Richardson, scoring 93, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, scoring 80, and Sherwin Campbell scoring 89. As a team, that was probably the last time the West Indies showed complete dominance with the bat in England.

 

Shai Hope becomes an immortal at Headingley (Headingley 2017)

Still a growing team, the West Indies unit that went to England in 2017 were expected to be thrashed and they were. While the defeat in the three-Test series was only 2-1, and the a result came down to the final Test, the truth is the teams were world’s apart. In that second Test though, the West Indies learned they could not only compete, but they could win in England. Ben Stokes had scored a century to prop up England’s first innings at 258, as Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach with four wickets apiece gave West Indies real hope. Then Kraigg Brathwaite with 134 and Shai Hope with 147, pushed the West Indies advantage, the innings ending at 427. England were up against it but batted well to score 490-8 and give the West Indies a serious total to chase. Again, Brathwaite and Hope were on show. Brathwaite fell for 95, agonizingly close to a second century in the match, but there was no stopping Hope, who was unbeaten at the end, scoring 118to lead the West Indies to 322-5 and a famous victory.

West Indies captain Jason Holder continues to struggle to shake off a bit of rust, or allay injury concerns, after being dismissed cheaply in the second and final intra-squad match at Emirates Old Trafford, on Tuesday.

This time around, the West Indies skipper made it to five, with his innings lasting just 13 deliveries.  The disappointment at the crease followed on the all-rounder’s golden duck in the first internal match that ended in a draw last week.

In addition to time away from the pitch, Holder has recently been bothered by what is thought to be a mild ankle injury.  Despite claims that he has not been hampered by it, Holder has looked less than comfortable at the crease.  In fact, he could have departed a lot sooner had Preston McSween held on to a relatively straightforward chance when the Windies skipper nudged the second ball of his innings to midwicket.  Holder had yet to score at the time.

Earlier, intermittent showers had wiped out the first four sessions of the four-day fixture but eased in time to allow play to start at 2:20 pm under lights.  Holder and Jermaine Blackwood were, unfortunately, part of a top-order collapse that saw Holder's side go from 79-1 to 108-5 against a Kraigg Brathwaite-led XI, before ending the day 120-5 when bad light stopped play.

 

Tell me I’m wrong isn’t a call to prove myself to be a better cricket analyst than anybody else but rather, expresses the hope that all West Indians have ahead of the team’s historic bio-secure Test series against England beginning July 8.

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