Day 8 of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) proved to be an absolute delight as Odisha Juggernauts fired all cylinders against Chennai Quick Guns to win by a scoreline of 51-41 in the first match of Wednesday at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune. In the second game of the night, Mumbai Khiladis earned a deserving 56-42 victory, all thanks to a Defending masterclass, against a helpless Rajasthan Warriors side.
Match 15: Chennai Quick Guns vs Odisha Juggernauts
After winning the toss, Odisha Juggernauts asked Chennai Quick Guns to attack first. The Batch 1 of Defenders got the Juggernauts underway with a Dream Run. The Quick Guns went for a Powerplay with Odisha’s Batch 2 Defenders on the mat but there was no harm done to the Defenders as the Batch lasted for 2:59 seconds to add another Dream Run to the Quick Guns’ tally. Gowtham M K and Jagannath Murmu were the star Defenders for the Juggernauts in this Turn and ensured that they were trailing by only 15 points at the end of the first seven minutes.
The Quick Guns’ Batch 1 Defenders tried their best to extend their stay on the mat but were dismissed in 2:10 seconds. With the Powerplay on, Ramji Kashyap troubled the Juggernauts Attackers but was dismissed before the Batch clock completed 2:30 seconds for the Quick Guns. The Juggernauts had a nine-point advantage at the end of the first inning.
In Turn 3, the Juggernauts Batch 1 Defenders, especially Subhasis Santra, were phenomenal in the defence and completed a four-point Dream Run. With a good number of three-pointers in the attack, the Quick Guns took a two-point lead with 2:14 seconds left in the turn, but post that, they missed out on the trick of extending their lead and looked slipshod. At the end of the third installment, Chenna only had a slender five-point lead over Odisha.
The Quick Guns’ Defenders looked to run down the clock and P Narasayya achieved a Dream Run for them to maintain a slim lead against their opponents. However, with the advantage of attacking in the final turn, the Juggernauts put on a show and kept collecting points. Chennai’s Batch 3 Defenders, however, picked up a consolation Dream Run before the end of the final whistle. Odisha Juggernauts registered a comfortable win against Chennai Quick Guns by a scoreline of 51-41 to move to the second position in the standings.
Attacker of the Match: Milind Chavrekar
Defender of the Match: Subhasish Santra
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Madan
Match 16: Mumbai Khiladis vs Rajasthan Warriors
In the battle of the bottom two, Rajasthan Warriors won the toss and elected to defend first. The Warriors’ Batch 1 Defenders lasted for 2:20 seconds. The Khiladis got off to a decent start and took the Powerplay with the Batch 2 Defenders on the mat. But, they could not corner the Defenders as Rajasthan Warriors opened their scoring with a Dream Run courtesy of Akshay Ganpule’s good footwork. The Warriors looked a lot more settled in the defence in this turn. The Khiladis had a 21-point lead at the end of the first seven minutes.
We saw a flurry of Khos from the Warriors’ Attackers against the Khiladis’ Batch 1 Defenders and they earned all three-pointers with Sky Dives. Mohammed Taseen stayed in the same lane while attacking against Batch 2 before he decided which side to move on and got rid of the danger man, Sreejesh S. It was a big moment for Mumbai Khiladis when their Batch 3 Defenders got them their first Dream Run of the game. The teams were level pegging with 25 each before the last Batch of Defenders stepped on the mat in this turn. At the end of the halfway mark, the game was even-steven as the Warriors were up by just two points.
Majahar Jamadar, the Warriors captain who is known for his attacking, came out to do the job in the defence in Batch 1. The Khiladis Attackers made sure that they wiped off the Defenders in two minutes of the Batch clock. Rajasthan Warriors were jubilant when Dilrajsing Sengar defended well and added a crucial four-point Dream Run to the scoreboard. The Khiladis added 21 points in the attack and had a 15-point lead at the end of Turn 3.
Khiladis turned on the magical gear when Durgesh Salunke created history with a first-ever eight-point Dream Run in UKK and ended with 24 points to his name. It was the best defensive show in a Turn when Mumbai Khiladis’ Batch 2 picked up another Dream Run, accumulating 10 points in Dream Run overall. The Warriors made too many errors in the attack and were looking slow on their feet in the final turn. Mumbai Khiladis were dominant against Rajasthan Warriors to win the game by a scoreline of 56-42. The Khiladis kept their UKK playoff hopes alive with this win.
Attacker of the Match: Avik Singha
Defender of the Match: Durvesh Salunke
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Mohammed Taseen