It was a Sunday special show at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune as the Odisha Juggernauts closed down the game with a close win and ended Gujarat Giants’ unbeaten run by a scoreline of 50-47 to move into the top three of the points table. In the second encounter, Telugu Yoddhas were too hot to handle for Rajasthan Warriors as they registered a remarkable 83-45 win to consolidate their place in the top two. 

Match 11: Odisha Juggernauts vs Gujarat Giants

The game began with Odisha Juggernauts’ captain Dipesh More winning the toss and electing to defend against Gujarat Giants. The Giants came out with an attacking plan and were brilliant with the pursuit. They became the first team to go past 200 total team points in Ultimate Kho Kho. The Juggernauts took their only review of the inning with Batch 1 Defender, Dilip Khandavi on the mat but it was overturned by the TV umpire. The Juggernauts’ Vishal got his team on the board with an exceptional 4-point Dream Run during the Powerplay. With the help of two Sky Dives and four Pole Dives the Giants were ahead at the end of Turn 1 by a decent 18 points.

In Turn 2, the Juggernauts took the Powerplay at the start of the Turn to push the Giants on the backfoot and wiped off Batch 1 easily, but their Batch 2 Defenders managed to add two Dream Run points to their account. With just 2 seconds left to complete a Dream Run, the Juggernauts Attacker Subhasish Santra got rid of Abhinandan Patil to extend their lead. After their first attempt of attack, Odisha were sitting with a slender four-point lead at the halfway mark.

The Giants started the attack with the intention to maximise most of the seven minutes in this Turn and they wiped off Odisha’s Batch 1 to take a 4-point lead. The table-toppers went for the kill taking the Powerplay with Batch 2 on the mat, but Dilip Khandavi displayed a defensive masterclass to give Odisha a six-point Dream Run. The Juggernauts were pretty happy with the way things panned out as they only had a 9-point deficit at the end of the third instalment.

In the final Turn, the Giants tried playing out of their skins and their Batch 1 added a Dream Run to extend their lead to 6 points. The game went down to the wire as it was all happening there, making it a close contest. The Juggernauts were good with their tagging when they took the Powerplay before the final whistle of the game. They upset the Giants in this cliffhanger with a margin of 50-47. Gujarat Giants stayed in the top position as they went home with a point as the margin of defeat was just three points against Odisha Juggernauts.

Match Awards:

Attacker of the Match: Subhasish Santra
Defender of the Match: Dilip Khandavi
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Vishal

Match 12: Rajasthan Warriors vs Telugu Yoddhas

After winning the toss, Rajasthan Warriors’ captain Majahar Jamadar elected to defend first. The Yoddhas got off to a flying start and got rid of Batch 1 and 2 with three-point touches. They took the Powerplay to take control of the game when Batch 3 came on the mat. The Yoddhas looked really impressive as they inflicted an All Out for a Full On Chase. Warriors failed to pick any defence point in this Turn and were trailing by 38 points to nil. 

The Warriors got off to a watchful start as they got rid of the first Defender of Batch 1 after a minute of the Turn’s play, but Avdhut Patil opened the defence account for the Yoddhas with a Dream Run. To cut down the deficit, the Warriors took the Powerplay and showed their acrobatics skills against Batch 2. However, the Yoddhas’ Defenders were in red-hot form. Arun Gunki, Batch 3 Defender, got a four-point Dream Run by the end of the first half to take the Yoddhas to a 20-point lead heading into the break.

The Warriors had a herculean task but their Batch 1 Defenders continued making false starts and offered 3-point touches to the Yoddhas’ Attackers. The Yoddhas upgraded their game in this Turn and sent the Warriors’ Defenders packing, who seemed gassed out. The Yoddhas accumulated the highest team total in a game which showed their sheer dominance in the game. They were all over the place as they got another Full On Chase to take a 55-point lead at the end of Turn 3.

Telugu Yoddhas put up a show after the defeat in the previous game against Chennai Quick Guns. It was an absolute carnage by the Yoddhas’ Attackers. The Warriors tried picking up the pace in the final Turn but nothing went right for them. The Yoddhas kept coming and got another four-point Dream Run courtesy Avdhut Patil before the end of the final whistle. This loss will hurt the Rajasthan Warriors as they’ve now lost four games in a row. This beleaguered side will have to find a way to get their campaign back on track as Telugu Yoddhas gave them a reality check with a 38-point win.

Match Awards:

Attacker of the Match: Sachin Bhargo
Defender of the Match: Arun Gunki
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Avdhut Patil