On Day 14 of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK), the bottom two sides on the points table gave their fans something to cheer for by registering big wins to their names at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune. Mumbai Khiladis hit the top gear to claim a comfortable win by a scoreline of 79-31 against the table-toppers Odisha Juggernauts in the first game of the night. In the second encounter, Rajasthan Warriors finally ended their eight-game losing streak with a gigantic 66-31 win over Chennai Quick Guns.
Match 27: Mumbai Khiladis vs Odisha Juggernauts
Mumbai Khiladis won the toss and decided to defend first in their last game of the inaugural Ultimate Kho Kho season. The Juggernauts, who were entering this game with a few changes on their side, took the Powerplay when they saw Durvesh Salunke making it to the first Batch of Defenders for the Khiladis. However, Durvesh Salunke and Gajanan Shengal still managed to get a 10-point Dream Run with their defensive masterclass for the Khiladis. Despite starting the game in the defence, the Khiladis were leading the game at the end of the Batch clock. At the end of the first seven minutes, the Juggernauts had a slender two-point lead against the Khiladis.
Odisha’s first Batch of Defenders lasted for 85 seconds when the Khiladis took the Powerplay against them. The Khiladis were at the top of their game when they put up a team show with good coordination in the attack and kept adding points to the scoreboard. The Juggernauts were running out of ideas as their Defenders were getting brushed out in quick succession. The Khiladis completed a Full On Chase, which meant that the Juggernauts were trailing by 43-12 at the end of halftime.
In the match-defining Turn, Sreejesh S the seasoned campaigner for the Khiladis made the defence look easy when he came in Batch 1 and scored a four-point Dream Run. Odisha took the Powerplay to bounce back in the game and got rid of the second Batch of Defenders soon. With four Sky Dives and a Pole Dive, the Juggernauts scored 19 points. This meant Mumbai Khiladis had a 16-point lead at the end of Turn 3.
In the final Turn, Mumbai Khiladis went past their previous best score in a game and showed maturity to clean up the Juggernauts Defenders. It was a good outing for the Mumbai-based franchise as they hit the full throttle to complete another Full On Chase. This was the first time a team completed two Full On Chases in a game. Mumbai Khiladis bowed out in style as they claimed a whopping 79-31 win against the table toppers Odisha Juggernauts.
Attacker of the Match: Gajanan Shengal
Defender of the Match: Avik Singha
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Dinesh Naik
Match 28: Chennai Quick Guns vs Rajasthan Warriors
Chennai Quick Guns gave their bench a try after winning the toss and invited Rajasthan Warriors to attack first. Chennai’s Batch 1 Defenders didn’t disappoint and secured a Dream Run before they got wiped off, to give the Khiladis all three-pointers during their first attempt in the attack. The second Batch of Defenders didn’t last long when the Warriors took the Powerplay. Rajasthan Warriors looked clinical in the first Turn as they had a 23-point advantage against the Quick Guns.
In Turn 2, we saw P Anand Kumar, the Chennai skipper sending Yalla Satish and Abhijit Patil, Rajasthan’s Batch 2 Defenders back in the dugout through a Pole Dive to add six points to Chennai’s total. Thereafter, Dilrajsing Sengar dodged through the Quick Guns’ Attackers to achieve a Dream- un for the Warriors. The score read 27-22 at the end of the halfway stage in Rajasthan’s favour.
The Warriors looked charged up against Chennai’s first Batch of Defenders to clean them up with ease in Turn 3. Nonetheless, their Batch 2 looked quite impressive and missed out by just eight seconds to add a Dream Run to their credit. The onus was on the Quick Guns’ Defenders to make a mark, but they failed to deliver. The Warriors looked in total control as they went past the 50-point mark for the first time in the tournament. At the end of the third instalment, the Warriors took their tally to 56 against the Quick Guns’ 22.
The Warriors continued their supremacy in the final Turn when their Batch 1 Defenders scored a 10-point Dream Run with their captain, Majahar Jamadar on the mat. The Quick Guns’ Attackers looked slow again with the Khos in their second attempt. The Warriors came up strong and played as a unit to get their first victory of the season. They had plenty to smile about after they beat Chennai Quick Guns by a scoreline of 66-31.
Attacker of the Match: Hrushikesh Murchavade
Defender of the Match: Nikhil B
Ultimate Kho of the Match: P Anand Kumar