As we reach the business end of the tournament, we witnessed two amazing encounters in Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) on a sensational Saturday. In the first encounter, Rajasthan Warriors had no answers to Chennai Quick Guns’ defence as they faced a heavy defeat by a 57-36 margin. Odisha Juggernauts registered five wins on the trot as they dominatingly beat Mumbai Khiladis by a 60-37 scoreline in the second clash of the night at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune.
Match 21: Rajasthan Warriors vs Chennai Quick Guns
It was a battle between the top two Attackers of UKK - Majahar Jamadar (RW) and Ramji Kashyap (CQG). Rajasthan Warriors won the toss and they opted to defend first against Chennai Quick Guns. Akshay Ganpule, the Quick Guns’ Batch 1 Defender was sent packing by Ramji Kashyap with just five seconds left to complete a Dream Run. The Warriors took the Powerplay against Batch 2 Defenders and got rid of them with ease. The third Batch of Defenders tried their best to open the account for the Warriors but Chennai boys were too good in the attack The Quick Guns were in full flow with four Sky Dives and a Pole Dive in this Turn and were leading by 23 to nil at the end of the first seven minutes.
The Warriors started their first attempt in the attack with the intention of clearing all four Batch of Defenders and earning a Full On Chase. However, the Quick Guns started their defensive run magnificently with a four-point Dream Run. The Warriors took the Powerplay against the second Batch of Defenders but looked slow on the mat as Madan completed a six-point Dream Run for the Quick Guns. It was a successful Turn for Chennai as they scored 10 Dream Run points and had an 18-point lead to end the first half.
At the start of the third Turn, the first Batch of Defenders for Rajasthan began the proceedings in a decent manner but was down in 2:12 seconds. The Quick Guns went for the kill when they took the Powerplay and the scorecard read 49-15 when they cleaned up the Batch with 3:14 seconds left in Turn 3. The Quick Guns looked a bit tired in the attack against Batch 3 as Hrushikesh Murchavade stole a four-point Dream Run. The Warriors had a 34-point deficit at the end of the third installment.
It was a mammoth task at hand for the Warriors in the final Turn. Vijaybahi Vegad added salt to Rajasthan’s injury when he took the charge for the Quick Guns and scored a four-point Dream Run. Chennai Quick Guns kept themselves alive in the hunt for the playoffs with a 57-36 win over Rajasthan Warriors. With this loss, the Warriors are eliminated from the playoff race in UKK.
Attacker of the Match: Ramji Kashyap
Defender of the Match: Madan
Ultimate Kho of the Match: P Narasayya
Match 22: Odisha Juggernauts vs Mumbai Khiladis
Odisha Juggernauts won the toss and invited Mumbai Khiladis to attack first. The Juggernauts were off to a flyer as Gowtham M K lit the mat with a four-point Dream Run when the Powerplay was on. It looked as if Odisha were in with a plan as the second Batch of Defenders also secured a four-point Dream Run. The Khiladis could have done better in the attack as they managed to take only an eight-point lead at the end of this Turn.
In Turn 2, the Juggernauts were equally good when they came out to attack against Khiladis’ first Batch of Defenders. The Khiladis’ Batch 2 Defender and captain, Vijay Hajare looked in good rhythm as he contributed well by adding a four-point Dream Run to their tally. The Juggernauts scored 21 points in the attack and had a nine-point lead at the end of the halfway stage.
It was a decisive Turn 3 for the two sides. The Juggernauts were spot on in the defence as the Batch 1 Defenders completed a four-point Dream Run courtesy of their captain, Milind Chavrekar. The Khiladis ran out of ideas when Odisha continued the momentum and amassed another Dream Run to make it their seventh Dream Run of the match. At the end of Turn 3, the Khiladis had a slender two-point advantage.
The Juggernauts’ attackers continued showing their character as they were quick on their feet. They did not take their foot off the pedal and did not give anything away against Mumbai’s first three Batch of Defenders. They wiped off these Batches with just 50 seconds left in the game. Odisha Juggernauts moved to the top of the standings and became the second team to qualify for the playoffs with a 60-37 win against Mumbai Khiladis.
Attacker of the Match: Sreejesh S
Defender of the Match: Dilip Khandavi
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Milind Chavrekar