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‘Shukla was just brilliant’

Calcutta: Kumar Deobrat first took Jharkhand out of the ventilator with a classy 84. Thereafter, it was Rahul Shukla’s controlled, disciplined line that ensured their victory over Services and a place in the Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-finals.

The determination to earn Jharkhand a final berth drove the team to perform above expected level, Rahul emphasised.

“Right from the start of this competition, we are determined to play in the final. You may well say that we had taken kind of an oath. Probably, that determination helped us to pull through,” said Rahul, after his match-winning performance.

Finishing with figures 11.4-0-61-5, Rahul has taken 14 wickets so far from four matches. “I’m hitting the right line and length. But I feel it’s because I am taking wickets that I am consistently bowling well.

Deobrat, too, was all praise for his teammate. “To put it in one word, Rahul’s performance was just brilliant. He was emphatic with his direction that went on to give us those crucial breakthroughs.

“We do need him and the other pacers to come good against Karnataka in the semis. Of course, the toss will also be vital,” opined Deobrat.

Talking about his own innings, the 21-year-old said: “It was tough to bat early on. With the ball darting around, my focus was to spend time at the crease first, before looking for runs.