It was a magical Monday in Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) as we got our remaining two sides to complete the playoff seats. In the first fixture, Chennai Quick Guns peaked at the right time to become the third team to qualify for the playoffs with a 58-42 win over Mumbai Khiladis at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune. Mumbai’s loss meant Telugu Yoddhas automatically qualified for the next round. That, however, didn’t mean that the Yoddhas took the second game lightly, as they put up a terrific performance against Gujarat Giants to win by a massive margin of 88-21.
Match 25: Chennai Quick Guns vs Mumbai Khiladis
In a must-win game, Mumbai Khiladis won the toss and asked Chennai Quick Guns to attack first. The Quick Guns were off and running as they took down Mumbai’s Batch 1 Defenders with Sky Dives to add nine points to their tally. Abhishek Pathrode from the second Batch earned a Dream Run for the Khiladis to open their account. Chennai took the powerplay to rattle the Batch 3 Defenders early. With seven Sky Dives and a Pole Dive, the Quick Guns had a 24-point lead against the Khiladis, at the end of the opening Turn.
The Khiladis looked desperate for points in the attack as we saw a flurry of Khos. However, the Quick Guns showed the difference between the two sides when Chennai’s first Batch of Defenders scored a Dream Run. Ramji Kashyap went a step forward when he came in Batch 2 and scored a four-point Dream Run for the Quick Guns and all this happened with the Powerplay on. The Khiladis looked out of ideas and were trailing by 32-20 at the end of the first inning.
Jeevith Rao, the Quick Guns’ Wazir looked impressive in the attack at the start of the third Turn against Mumbai’s Batch 1. However, Batch 2 Defenders Sreejesh S and Abhishek Pathrode gave the Quick Guns a headache when they combined for a four-point Dream Run in an attempt to cut down the deficit. Ramji Kashyap cleaned up Gajanan Shengal to create history by becoming the first player to score 100 points in UKK history. The Quick Guns were leading the game by 30 points at the end of Turn 3.
The Khiladis had a mammoth target to achieve when they came to attack in the final Turn. They took the Powerplay against the Quick Guns’ Batch 3 Defenders after wrapping up the first two Batches. The Attackers looked down and out against Ramji Kashyap as he scored a four-point Dream Run before the end of the final whistle. Chennai Quick Guns became the third team to qualify for the playoffs after beating Mumbai Khiladis by a scoreline of 58-42. The Khiladis were knocked out of the UKK, while Telugu Yoddhas automatically became the fourth team to qualify for the playoffs.
Attacker of the Match: P Narasayya
Defender of the Match: Ramji Kashyap
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Ramji Kashyap
Match 26: Telugu Yoddhas vs Gujarat Giants
We saw too many changes in the Gujarat Giants’ lineup as they rested their key players to keep them fresh for the playoffs. The starting lineup consisted of five players who were just playing their second game in the competition while we had two debutants making it to the mat in this game. Their captain, Mareppa won the toss and opted to Defend first against Telugu Yoddhas. The Yoddhas were off and running right from word go as they took 1:18 seconds to send Gujarat’s first Batch packing. Telugu Yoddhas looked ruthless against Batch 2 and got rid of them in quick time. The Yoddhas dominated the first seven minutes of the match as they completed a Full On Chase to have a 37-0 lead over the Giants.
The Giants looked for a turnaround when they came in for the attack. However, Avdhut Patil went down the UKK history books as he looked stunning on the mat to score a massive 16-point Dream Run. The Giants took the Powerplay to get themselves going in the game but looked off colour as they scored only eight points in this Turn. At the end of the inning, the Yoddhas had a huge 45-point lead.
In the third Turn, the Yoddhas continued the momentum until Gujarat’s Batch 2 Defenders completed a four-point Dream Run to boost their team. The Yoddhas kept the intensity going after this to pick two Sky Dives and four Running Touches in this Turn. They scored 22 points in the attack to have a gigantic 66-point lead.
V Subramani, Telugu’s Batch 1 Defender was scoring points for fun as he accomplished an eight-point Dream Run for the Yoddhas. The Batch 2 Defenders scored another Dream Run against the Giants' attack. The Yoddhas were on song as they scored 26 points in the defence. This led to Gujarat Giants being handed a humiliating 88-21 defeat by Telugu Yoddhas.
Attacker of the Match: Prajwal K H
Defender of the Match: Pratik Waikar
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Avdhut Patil