On Wednesday, we saw two impressive wins to close down the final day of the league stage in the Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK). In the first game of the night, Gujarat Giants flourished in such a way against Rajasthan Warriors that they ended the league stage as the table-toppers with a 47-42 margin win in a tight finish. In the second game, Telugu Yoddhas defeated Odisha Juggernauts by a comprehensive 65-36 margin at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune.
Match 29: Gujarat Giants vs Rajasthan Warriors
Gujarat Giants won the toss and chose to defend first. The Giants were off to a flyer as their Batch 1 Defenders claimed a Dream Run to open their account before they got out. The Warriors took the Powerplay and looked on a quick attacking spree to send the Defenders home early and Nikhil B played a crucial role to wipe them off. Rajasthan Warriors tried scoring three-pointers in the first seven minutes but could manage to get three Sky Dives and a Pole Dive to have an 18-point lead.
The Giants cleaned up the Warriors’ Batch 1 Defenders within two minutes after the start of the second Turn. However, Akshay Ganpule survived for more than 2:30 seconds in the next set of Defenders to find a Dream Run for the Warriors. Rajasthan’s third Batch of Defenders fell prey in no time and with this, the Giants took a point’s lead to end the first inning by a scoreline of 23-22.
In Turn 3, the Warriors kept the scoreboard ticking by giving the Giants some early blows before Sagar Potdar from Batch 2 scored a four-point Dream Run with his acrobats on the mat when the Powerplay was on. The Warriors were in the hunt to fetch more points in the attack but they managed to score 18 points to have a 13-point lead against the Giants at the end of this Turn.
Gujarat Giants took the Powerplay to start the proceedings of the final Turn and got rid of Rajasthan’s Batch 1 Defenders in 2:17 seconds. All eyes were on Hrushikesh Murchavade and he did not disappoint as he scored a Dream Run for the Warriors. The scoreline read 42 apiece before Batch 3 took the mat. Rajasthan Warriors played some good Kho Kho in their last league stage game but it was the Giants who took the lead and had their heads held high as they ended the league stage as the table toppers with a 47-42 margin win.
Attacker of the Match: Majahar Jamadar
Defender of the Match: Akshay Bhangare
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Abhinandan Patil
Match 30: Telugu Yoddhas vs Odisha Juggernauts
In the last league stage game of UKK season one, Odisha Juggernauts won the toss and asked Telugu Yoddhas to attack first. The Yoddhas took the Powerplay to get the game underway but the Juggernauts started their defence in a cracking manner as the first Batch of Defenders, courtesy of Jagannath Murmu, secured a six-point Dream Run. The Juggernauts couldn’t have asked for a better start as the second Batch of Defenders scored a four-point Dream Run. The Yoddhas edged the opening Turn by 8 points against the Juggernauts.
The Yoddhas’ Batch 1 Defenders looked strong on the mat as their first Defender got dismissed when they achieved a Dream Run. After which, Arun S.A. played a key role in this Batch producing a 10-point Dream Run at the end of the Batch clock. Odisha scored 18 points in their first attacking Turn and had a two-point deficit at the end of the halfway mark.
The Yoddhas’ Attackers looked to extend their lead in Turn 3 and got rid of Odisha’s first Batch of Defenders soon. Suresh Kumar, the Juggernauts’ Defender who was just playing just his second UKK game was the only one who looked impressive amongst them. However, the Yoddhas looked unstoppable as Odisha’s Defenders failed to evade them on the mat. They clinched six Sky Dives and a Pole Dive to score 27 points in the Attack. At the end of the third installment, the Yoddhas had a massive 29 points lead.
In the fourth and final Turn, the Yoddhas kept extending their lead as the Batch 1 Defenders scored a Dream Run. The Juggernauts were completely on the backfoot as the Yoddhas lived up to the billing with an eight-point Dream Run. The Yoddhas left no stone unturned in this game and finished off the league stage with a thumping win against Odisha Juggernauts by a scoreline of 65-36.
Attacker of the Match: Dhruv
Defender of the Match: Gurjinder Singh
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Jagannath Murmu