Sachin at 50: Each of Tendulkar's 100 international hundreds - Part 2 | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Sachin at 50: Each of Tendulkar's 100 international hundreds - Part 2

Apr 24, 2023 06:10 PM IST

The great Sachin Tendulkar turns 50 today, and on this momentous occasion, we bring you some detail of the one statistic that became synonymous with his career.

On the occasion of Sachin Tendulkar's 50th birthday, we take a look at his 100 centuries for India spanning from 1990 to 2012. We will be turning back the clock and celebrating Tendulkar’s centuries in five segments – Part 1: 1990-1995, Part 2: 1996-1998, Part 3 1999-2001, Part 4: 2002-2007, and Part 5: 2008-2012.

Sachin Tendulkar brings the Desert Storm in Sharjah(Agencies)
Sachin Tendulkar brings the Desert Storm in Sharjah(Agencies)

Read Part 1 here

Part 2: 1996-1998

No 13: 127* vs Kenya, Cuttack, February 18, 1996 (ODI #5)

Tendulkar holds the record, among many others, for the most runs in men’s ODI World Cups. Along with Rohit Sharma, he also has the record for most centuries in the tournament. And the first of those six tons came against Kenya in 1996.

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It was the first match of the competition for India and they won the toss and chose to field first. Anil Kumble picked three wickets as Kenya were restricted to 199/6 in 50 overs.

In reply, India remained in cruise control as Tendulkar slammed another hundred. Along with Ajay Jadeja (53 off 85), he added a 163-run partnership for the first wicket and went on to remain unbeaten on 127 off 138 balls with 15 fours and a six. India finished with 203/3 to complete the chase in 41.5 overs.

Tendulkar ended that tournament as the highest run-scorer with 523 runs in seven innings, even as India lost to Sri Lanka in the semifinal.

No 14: 137 vs Sri Lanka, Delhi, March 2, 1996 (ODI #6)

After his ton against Kenya in India’s 1996 World Cup opener, Tendulkar registered scores of 70 and 90 against West Indies and Australia respectively. And in the fourth match, he slammed his second century of the tournament with a run-a-ball 137 against Sri Lanka.

India were asked to bat first in Delhi and went on to post a decent total of 271/3. While Manoj Prabhakar’s 36-ball 7 at the top of the order didn’t help their cause, Tendulkar hit eight fours and five sixes in his knock and skipper Mohammad Azharuddin scored an unbeaten 72 off 80 at No 4.

However, Sri Lanka were solid in the chase and finished with 272/4 in 48.4 overs to complete a six-wicket win. Opener Sanath Jayasuriya hit 79 off 76 while Hashan Tillakaratne was not out on 70 off 98.

No 15: 100 vs Pakistan, Singapore, April 5, 1996 (ODI #7)

It was the Singer Cup, with Sri Lanka being the third team in the tournament, and India went on to lose against Pakistan by eight wickets.

Asked to bat first, India could only manage a total of 226/8 in 47.1 overs. Tendulkar got his first century against Pakistan in this game but his 100 off 111 balls, with nine fours and a six, wasn’t enough to help India avoid defeat.

Sanjay Manjrekar scored 41 at No 5 but there was precious little from the other batters.

Pakistan were dominant in the chase with Saeed Anwar and Aamer Sohail leading the way. Anwar smashed 74 off 49 while skipper Sohail remained unbeaten on 76 off 89 to bag the player of the match award. Pakistan finished their innings on 190/2 in 28 overs after a revised target was set for them.

No 16: 118 vs Pakistan, Sharjah, April 15, 1996 (ODI #8)

India were competing in the Sharjah Cup along with Pakistan and South Africa. Tendulkar wasn’t off to a good start in the tournament and registered scores of 1 and 2 in the first two games. But he bounced back in style by scoring 118 off 140 in the third match against Pakistan.

India lost the wicket of Vikram Rathour early after winning the toss and opting to bat first. However, Tendulkar and Navjot Singh Sidhu went on to post a mammoth 231-run partnership for the second wicket. Tendulkar hit eight fours and two sixes in his innings, while Sidhu scored 101 off 117 with three fours and as many sixes.

India finished with a total of 305/5 before bowling out Pakistan for 277 in 46.1 overs to complete a 28-run victory. Tendulkar even picked the wickets of Basit Ali and Saqlain Mushtaq and was declared the player of the match for his all-round effort.

No 17: 122 vs England, Birmingham, June 6-9, 1996 (Test #9)

Six years after his maiden Test century, Tendulkar returned to England for a three-Test series. The tour was in the aftermath of the 1996 World Cup, where India made a painstaking semi-final exit against Sri Lanka despite Tendulkar's exploits in the tournament.

Sachin Tendulkar scored centuries in Birmingham and Nottingham.(Getty)
Sachin Tendulkar scored centuries in Birmingham and Nottingham.(Getty)

That India toured England in the first half of the summer — Pakistan followed in the second half — was illustrative of the team's inferior standing back then.

While Tendulkar was out for 24 in the first innings, he expectedly made up in India's second innings with an imperious 122 off just 177 deliveries. It couldn't save India from an eight-wicket defeat though as the rest of the batters simply succumbed to the early-season swing of Chris Lewis, Dominic Cork and Alan Mullally.

No 18: 177 vs England, Nottingham, July 4-9, 1996 (Test #10)

Between Tendulkar's 122 in the first Test in Birmingham and 177 in the third Test in Nottingham, much had changed. The spectacular debuts of Sourav Ganguly (131) and Rahul Dravid (95) in the second Test at Lord's suddenly enthused hope that Tendulkar wouldn't have to carry the responsibility of the batting unit entirely on his shoulders. The third Test reinforced that belief as Tendulkar shared a 255-run partnership with Ganguly for the third wicket.

While Ganguly scored 136 — his second century on the trot — Tendulkar top-scored with 177. Dravid also scored 84 as India piled up 521 in the first innings. In response, England's total of 564 all but ensured that the match would end in a tame draw.

No 19: 110 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, August 28, 1996 (ODI #9)

Tendulkar scored 13 international centuries as India’s captain, and the first of those knocks came against Sri Lanka in a World Series match in 1996.

Australia and Zimbabwe were the other teams in the tournament, with India playing hosts Sri Lanka in their first game.

Opting to bat first, India rode on Tendulkar’s brilliance to post a somewhat respectable total. The Master Blaster scored nearly half the team’s runs as India finished with 226/5 in 50 overs.

Tendulkar’s 110 off 138 balls was studded with five fours and a six. Mohammad Azharuddin scored 58 batting at No 4 as three of India’s batters were run out, including Tendulkar.

In reply, Sri Lanka cruised to victory thanks to Sanath Jayasuriya’s onslaught. The left-handed opener smashed an unbeaten 120 off 128 and posted a 129-run opening stand with Romesh Kaluwitharana (53 off 65). The hosts finished with 230/1 in 44.2 overs.

No 20: 114 vs South Africa, Mumbai, December 14, 1996 (ODI #10)

It had been 13 ODIs since Tendulkar had scored a century. He had got five half-centuries in the meantime but the three-figure mark was eluding him. However, the wait ended in the only ODI during South Africa’s 1996 tour of India.

And to make the occasion even sweeter, the hundred came at Tendulkar’s home ground – the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It was his first international ton at the venue.

Electing to bat first, it was the Tendulkar show for India as he scored 114 runs (126 balls) in his team’s total of 267/6. Tendulkar showed great composure during his innings and hit 14 fours but not a single six. He raised his arms in celebration after getting to the three-figure mark but didn’t take off his helmet.

Ajay Jadeja was the second-highest scorer in the innings with an unbeaten 54 at No 5.

Venkatesh Prasad then led the way with the ball by picking a four-wicket haul as India bowled out South Africa for 193 in 46 overs to complete a 74-run victory.

No 21: 169 vs South Africa, Cape Town, January 2-6, 1997 (Test #11)

Among the 51 tons that Tendulkar racked up during his magnificent Test career, this is an innings that is still easily recalled. In the New Year's Test in 1997, India were confronting a familiarly bleak situation at 58/5 after South Africa scored 529/7 declared in their first innings. Instead of folding meekly though, Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin counter-attacked in stunning fashion, producing a storied partnership of 222 runs for the sixth wicket that allowed India to reach a respectable 359.

For context, the third-highest score in India's innings after Tendulkar's 169 and Azharuddin's 115 was Sourav Ganguly's 23. Javagal Srinath was the only other batter to reach double figures.

As much as the hundreds mattered, it was the manner in which the runs came that dazzled viewers. Tendulkar took just 254 balls for his 169 while Azharuddin blazed his way to 115 in 110 deliveries.

No 22: 104 vs Zimbabwe, Benoni, February 9, 1997 (ODI #11)

Tendulkar wasn’t having the best time with the bat in the tri-series involving hosts South Africa and Zimbabwe during India’s tour in 1997. In the first five matches of the series, he registered scores of 0, 6, 1, 14 and 41. But in the sixth game, he bounced back with a ton versus Zimbabwe.

India won the toss and opted to field first. Skipper Alistair Campbell scored 86 but three-fors by Javagal Srinath and Sunil Joshi helped restrict Zimbabwe to 240/8 in 50 overs.

Tendulkar took over from there as he hit a 97-ball 104 with eight fours and a six at the top of the order. Ajay Jadeja scored an unbeaten 56 at No 5 as India finished with 241/4 in 39.2 overs to bag a six-wicket win.

No 23: 117 vs New Zealand, Bengaluru, May 14, 1997 (ODI #12)

It was the Independence Cup in 1997 with India hosting Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. India were up against the Kiwis in their tournament opener and claimed an emphatic eight-wicket win thanks to their skipper’s heroics.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, New Zealand could only manage a total of 220/9 in their 50 overs as Sunil Joshi and Robin Singh picked two wickets apiece for the hosts.

In reply, Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (62 off 87) put on a massive 169-run partnership for the first wicket. The Master Blaster went on to score 117 runs off 137 deliveries with 13 fours and two sixes to bag the player of the match award. India finished with 221/2 in 42.3 overs as Rahul Dravid (21*) and Vinod Kambli (4*) remained unbeaten.

No 24: 143 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, August 2-6, 1997 (Test #12)

After tours to South Africa and West Indies, where they tasted little success as a team, Tendulkar and India may have felt a sigh of relief to be touring the neighbouring country. In West Indies, the Indians had to face the ignominy of being 81 all out in pursuit of 120 at Barbados.

In the first innings of the Colombo Test, Tendulkar hit 143 as India scored 537/8 declared on a batting featherbed. Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mohammad Azharuddin also scored centuries. Given the heap of runs that they scored, the visitors would have been expecting to put the Sri Lankan batters under immense pressure. They wouldn't have been prepared for what followed as Sri Lanka compiled a world-record score of 952/6 declared. The match predictably ended in a dull draw.

No 25: 139 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, August 9-13, 1997 (Test #13)

There was a more even contest between bat and ball in the second Test at the same venue. Sri Lanka batted first on this occasion, reaching 332 thanks to Aravinda de Silva's 146. In response, Tendulkar ensured that India gained a first-innings lead with a knock of 139. With Sourav Ganguly also scoring a century, the duo was able to put together a 140-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

During this time, the Sri Lankan bowling unit was gradually growing in confidence. In Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, the hosts had two expert operators who knew how to coerce wickets in their conditions. Even though the pitches were flat, Tendulkar and Co had to work hard for their runs.

No 26: 148 vs Sri Lanka, Mumbai, December 3-7, 1997 (Test #14)

Shortly after India toured Sri Lanka in 1997, it was the turn of the latter to play a three-Test series here. The first two Tests, held in Mohali and Nagpur, saw Tendulkar surprisingly being dismissed for 23 and 15 respectively. When the players moved to Mumbai for the third Test, Tendulkar duly made amends with a score of 148. By now, Tendulkar and Ganguly were beginning to forge a brilliant understanding in the middle. On this occasion, Ganguly made 173 as they stitched together a stand of 256 runs for the fourth wicket.

Their dominance allowed India to compile 512 after being sent in by the Arjuna Ranatunga-led Sri Lankans. Even though India dominated the contest, however, they were unable to force a victory.

No 27: 155* vs Australia, Chennai, March 6-10, 1998 (Test #15)

This is another Tendulkar century that will remain vivid in the memory of his fans. The series was hyped up as a battle between the world's best batter and best bowler -- Tendulkar and Shane Warne -- and the ensuing contest didn't disappoint.

Tendulkar had prepared for Warne by getting leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan to bowl into the scuffed-up rough from around the wicket in the build-up to the series. It underlined how seriously Tendulkar took the challenge of conquering Warne. While the blonde Australian leggie got Tendulkar caught at first slip for just 4 in the first innings, the Indian batter got his own back in India's second innings with a majestic 155* off 191 balls. When Tendulkar came out to bat, India were ahead by 44 runs. Australian captain Mark Taylor immediately went at Tendulkar with his trump card, but the No 4 batter wasn't going to allow Warne to dictate terms.

Once Tendulkar moved past fifty, Warne did go around the wicket in an effort to make use of the rough and frustrate the genius. But Tendulkar's preparation proved useful. He employed slog sweeps and pulls effortlessly to dispatch Warne into the stands time and again. Riding Tendulkar's century, India reached 418/4 declared and set Australia a target of 348. The Australians folded for 168 in the fourth innings.

No 28: 177 vs Australia, Bangalore, March 25-28, 1998 (Test #16)

Having won the first two Tests by big margins, India had already clinched the series going into the third and final Test in Bangalore.

And electing to bat after winning the toss, India seemed to be on course for a 3-0 whitewash when Tendulkar slammed an attacking 177. He consumed just 207 balls for his effort, indicating how dominant he was even in the five-day format back then.

He wouldn't hesitate before skipping down the track and launching spinners into the stands. And when the ball would drop short, he was lightning quick at moving back and cutting the ball with ferocious power.

While Tendulkar's century helped India score 424 in their first innings, Australia fought back for an eight-wicket victory.

No 29: 100 vs Australia, Kanpur, April 7, 1998 (ODI #13)

It had been 29 innings and 11 months since Tendulkar had scored an ODI ton. It was the longest such streak since he had made his first 50-over century in international cricket. He was getting starts during this period, and even notched up seven half-centuries which included three 80-plus scores, but the three-figure mark was eluding him.

However, in April 1998, he roared back to his best with three centuries against the mighty Australian team that month. The second and third of those tons became iconic (which we will talk about in a bit) and the first one came in Kanpur during a triangular series involving Zimbabwe as well.

Sachin Tendulkar in full flow against Australia(Getty)
Sachin Tendulkar in full flow against Australia(Getty)

India had beaten Australia and Zimbabwe in their first two games of the series and were up against the Aussies again. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first but were restricted to just 222/9 as Ajit Agarkar claimed a four-wicket haul.

In reply, India enjoyed another big opening partnership between Sourav Ganguly (72 off 104) and an ultra-aggressive Tendulkar, who scored 100 runs off 89 balls with five fours and seven sixes. The duo added 175 runs for the first wicket as India finished with 223/4 in 44.3 overs to seal a six-wicket victory.

No 30: 143 vs Australia, Sharjah, April 22, 1998 (ODI #14)

He played countless world class knocks, broke nearly every record there was in the game, but if there is one Tendulkar knock in ODI cricket that is rated the highest, it is perhaps this one – The Desert Storm.

India, Australia and New Zealand were competing in the Coca-Cola Cup in Sharjah. India defeated New Zealand in the tournament opener, then lost to Australia and the Kiwis, and were in a tough position heading into their last league game against the Aussies with a spot in the final up for grabs.

Australia chose to bat first and posted a daunting total of 284/7 as Michael Bevan cracked an unbeaten century in the middle order. Steve Waugh and Co had already secured a spot in the final and India needed a special effort with the bat to edge out New Zealand and earn the right to compete in the title clash.

Tendulkar was off to a slow start in his innings and got just four runs off 16 deliveries. But he cut loose from thereon and raced to a half-century. However, the proceedings were then interrupted as a sandstorm hit the Sharjah stadium, When play resumed, the revised target for India was 276 in 46 overs. But more importantly, they needed to score 237 runs to qualify for the final.

The cricketing world was then treated to what can be described as a divine knock by Tendulkar. He batted like a man possessed and hit the Aussies all around the park. He brought up his century in the 39th over and took India past the qualification mark of 237 in the 43rd over. But he wanted more, he wanted to take India past the finish line and claim victory in the match.

However, he was dismissed for 143 off 141, with nine fours and five sixes, as Australia went on to win by 26 runs. It was, and still is, one of the greatest knocks the world has ever seen. But Tendulkar wasn’t done yet. He had unfinished business with Australia, which he went on to complete two nights later.

No 31: 134 vs Australia, Sharjah, April 24, 1998 (ODI #15)

It was the final of the Coca-Cola Cup between India and Australia and all eyes were on Tendulkar. The Master Blaster had almost single-handedly driven his team to the final. He was batting like a dream. The stage was set for him to dazzle again. And dazzle he did.

India won the toss this time and skipper Mohammad Azharuddin opted to field first. Australia went on to post another formidable total of 272/9, with captain Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann scoring 70 runs each.

The pressure was on and India needed Tendulkar to lead from the front with the bat again, and he didn’t disappoint. The right-hander took the likes of Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz, Shane Warne, Tom Moody and the Waugh brothers to the cleaners for the second time in two games.

This time, Tendulkar smashed 134 runs off 131 balls with 12 fours and three sixes. India finished with 275/4 in 48.3 overs to bag a six-wicket win and clinch the series. The superstar opener was, of course, declared the player of the match and series.

No 32: 100* vs Kenya, Kolkata, May 31, 1998 (ODI #16)

It was a triangular series again, and this time India were competing against Kenya and Bangladesh. The hosts won their first three matches in the competition but suffered a surprising defeat in the fourth game against Kenya.

Three days later, though, the two teams faced-off again, this time in the final, and India emerged on top thanks to the Tendulkar show.

Kenya won the toss and opted to bat first but were bowled out for 196 in 46.3 overs. Hitesh Modi scored 71 runs for the visitors while Venkatesh Prasad and Ajit Agarkar picked four and three wickets respectively for India.

Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (36) then added a 77-run partnership for the first wicket before Ajay Jadeja scored an unbeaten 50 at No 3. Tendulkar remained not out on 100 runs off 103 deliveries, with 13 fours, and won the player of the match award. It was his first international century at the hallowed Eden Gardens.

India finished with 191/7 in just 35 overs to complete a nine-wicket win and claim the series.

No 33: 128 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, July 7, 1998 (ODI #17)

Another final, another match-winning ton by Tendulkar. And it had added significance this time as he equalled West Indies legend Desmond Haynes’s record of most ODI centuries.

It was Sri Lanka and New Zealand competing with India in the Nidahas Trophy. India had a rather interesting path to the final, they won one and lost one match against the hosts, while two of their games were abandoned and two had no results.

In the final against Sri Lanka, India opted to bat first and were powered by a mammoth 252-run opening stand between Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. While the left-hander scored 109 off 136, the right-hander got 128 off 131 with eight fours and two sixes.

India would have been confident at the break having posted 307/6, but the match ended up seeing a close finish.

Sri Lanka got off to a decent start in the chase before Aravinda de Silva took over and slammed 105 off 94 balls. The match went to the last over but it was India who emerged victorious as the hosts were bowled out for 301 in 49.3 overs. Ajit Agarkar was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/53.

No 34: 127* vs Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, September 26, 1998 (ODI #18)

This was a historic century for Tendulkar and Indian cricket as he went past Desmond Haynes to bag the record for most ODI centuries. He was just 25 years old at the time. The legend never let go of his lead from here, and retired with 49 tons in the 50-over format, a record that stands to date.

During the 1998 tour of Zimbabwe, India had a forgettable outing with the red ball as they lost the only Test that was played. But in the preceding three-match ODI series, they came out on top 2-1 with Tendulkar bagging the player of the series award.

In the first ODI, India won the toss and chose to field first. The hosts struggled to get partnerships going and were bowled out for 213 in 50 overs, with Ajit Agarkar and Harbhajan Singh claiming three wickets apiece.

Sourav Ganguly perished early in the chase but Tendulkar got together with Rahul Dravid (64) to add a match-winning 180-run stand for the second wicket. India finished with 216/2 in 42.2 overs to secure an eight-wicket win, with Tendulkar hitting 13 fours and a six to remain unbeaten on 127 off 130.

No 35: 141 vs Australia, Dhaka, October 28, 1998 (ODI #19)

It was the International Cup, which was billed as the ‘Mini World Cup’ and was essentially a version of the Champions Trophy that is played today.

India were up against Australia in their first match of the tournament, which was also a quarter-final, and were in a serious spot of bother at 8/2 after being asked to bat first at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

However, Tendulkar came to the rescue yet again with a sublime knock. He counterattacked brilliantly and scored 141 off 128, with 13 fours and three sixes, to help India post a solid total of 307/8. Rahul Dravid (48) and Ajay Jadeja (71) were the other key contributors in the innings.

Tendulkar wasn’t done, though, and starred for India with the ball as well. He ran through Australia’s lower middle-order and picked the wickets of Steve Waugh, Michael Bevan, Damien Martyn and Brad Young to return with excellent figures of 4/38.

Mark Waugh batted well at the top of the order and scored 74, while Ricky Ponting got 41 at No 3, but none of the other batters could kick on and Australia were bowled out for 263 in 48.1 overs

No 36: 118* vs Zimbabwe, Sharjah, November 8, 1998 (ODI #20)

India were competing along with Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy in Sharjah. They defeated Sri Lanka by three wickets and five balls to spare in the tournament opener, and were up again Zimbabwe in their second game.

Azharuddin won the toss and opted to field first. India bowled with discipline and cleaned up the Zimbabwe innings for 196 runs, with Anil Kumble, Nikhil Chopra and Sunil Joshi picking two wickets each.

It turned out to be a Tendulkar special once again as he smashed an unbeaten 118 runs off 112 deliveries, with 14 fours and two sixes. He added a 62-run opening partnership with Sourav Ganguly (28) and a 92-run stand with Azharuddin (28) for the third wicket.

India finished with 197/3 in 40.4 overs to bag a seven-wicket victory.

No 37: 124* vs Zimbabwe, Sharjah, November 13, 1998 (ODI #21)

After the aforementioned ton in the 1998 Champions Trophy against Zimbabwe, Tendulkar was quiet in the next two games of the tournament and could only manage scores of 18 and 11. But then came the final against Zimbabwe, and yet again, he slammed a match-winning century.

India won the toss and opted to field first again and Zimbabwe were restricted to 196 runs again, only this time they weren’t bowled out but lost nine wickets. Javagal Srinath led the way with the ball for India and picked 3/40.

In reply, India were utterly dominant as Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly powered them to a 10-wicket win. Ganguly showed more restraint and was not out on 63 runs off 90 balls, but the Master Blaster was at his destructive best. Tendulkar smashed 124 runs off just 92 deliveries, with 12 fours and six sixes, as Henry Olonga and Co were taken to the cleaners. The right-hander was declared the player of the match and the series for his efforts.

No 38: 113 vs New Zealand, Wellington, December 26-30, 1998 (Test #17)

Tendulkar's most prolific year in ODI cricket was 1998, racking up a record 1894 runs. He didn't play many Tests that year, but ended it in memorable fashion with a knock of 113 against New Zealand at Basin Reserve in Wellington.

After India were bowled out for 208 in the first innings, conceding a 144-run lead, the visitors needed a few of their batters to step up in their second essay and challenge the Kiwis. Tendulkar duly stepped up with a 151-ball 113. India scored 356 as a result, giving New Zealand a target of 213. While New Zealand reached home with four wickets in hand, they would have had it a lot easier if not for Tendulkar's contribution.

Read Part 3 here

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    Vivek Krishnan is a sports journalist who enjoys covering cricket and football among other disciplines. He wanted to be a cricketer himself but has gladly settled for watching and writing on different sports.

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