Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) fans were in for a treat on Tuesday as major action was taking place at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune. Telugu Yoddhas clinched a comfortable win against Mumbai Khiladis by a scoreline of 55-43 in the first game of the night. Thereafter, Chennai Quick Guns pulled off a surprise as they downed former table-toppers Gujarat Giants by a 53-51 margin in the second contest.

Match 13: Telugu Yoddhas vs Mumbai Khiladis

Mumbai Khiladis’ captain Vijay Hajare won the toss and asked the Yoddhas leader, Prajwal K H to attack first. The Khiladis’ Batch 1 Defenders stood tall for 2:22 seconds but missed out on securing a Dream Run. The Yoddhas took the Powerplay with Batch 2 Defenders on the mat and they went for a review against Sreejesh S, the best Defender of the tournament, but it was overturned by the TV umpire. The second Batch of Defenders lasted for 2:06 seconds on the mat. The Yoddhas were exceptional while executing the plan and had a lead of 26 to nil at the end of the first 7 minutes.  

Avdhut Patil was marvellous as a Defender and got a Dream Run for the Yoddhas with the first Batch of Chennai Defenders. All eyes were on the Khiladis Wazir, Durvesh Salunke who did not disappoint in the attack. They also took the Powerplay with Batch 3 Defenders on the mat, but they looked sluggish. They managed to get three Sky Dives and one Pole Dive in this turn and were trailing by 8 points at the end of the first inning. 

In Turn 3, Vijay Hajare tried his best to get a Dream Run for the Khiladis but they were shy by 8 seconds. The Yoddhas took the charge in this attacking attempt and were collecting good points for themselves. They got rid of the first two Batch of Defenders with all three-point Dives.  Durvesh Salunke stepped up to the task and got the Khiladis a 4-point Dream Run and managed to reduce the deficit to 27 points at the end of the third instalment.

The Khiladis were desperate for redemption but Prajwal, the leader of the pack for Telugu was fighting a lone battle as he got them a Dream Run, but missed out on getting a four-pointer by just two seconds. The match was slipping away from Khiladis’ hands as Sachin Bhargo got another Dream Run for the Yoddhas. The Khiladis took the Powerplay with the third Batch of Defenders on the mat, as they were trailing by 15 points with 1:07 seconds left in the game. The Khiladis ran hard and fast but the Yoddhas sealed the game by a scoreline of 55-43. With this win, Telugu Yoddhas moved to the top of the points table.

Match Awards:

Attacker of the Match: Rohan Shingade
Defender of the Match: Durvesh Salunke
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Sachin Bhargo

Match 14: Gujarat Giants vs Chennai Quick Guns

Ranjan Shetty, the Giants skipper won the toss and elected to Defend first. Chennai Quick Guns were slow off the mark in the attack as they took some time to wipe off the Giants’ Batch 1 Defenders. Sagar Potdar was unlucky and was sent back by Quick Guns Attacker, Ramji Kashyap with just a second left to complete 2:30 seconds on the clock. However, the Batch 2 Defenders did the job and opened their account with a Dream Run. Ramji Kashyap, the star diver for the Quick Guns became the second player to go past the 50-point mark in UKK. At the end of Turn 1, the score was 21-2 in Chennai’s favour.

The Giants were off and running against the Quick Guns’ Batch 1 and 2 Defenders who looked slightly vulnerable. The Gujarat-based franchise took the Powerplay but failed to make the most of it as the Quick Guns captain, Amit Patil got them to a four-point Dream Run. The Giants scored 25 points and had only a two-point edge over the Quick Guns at the halfway mark.

Turn 3 was filled with twists and turns. The Quick Guns took the lead at the start but a four-point Dream Run by the Giants’ Batch 1 Defenders broke the confidence of the attacking side. To build it from here, the Quick Guns took the Powerplay to extend their lead but the Giants did excellent defence work. The Quick Guns scored 6 Sky Dives and 2 Running Touches in this turn to manage a 16 points lead at the end of the turn.

The Quick Guns’ Batch 1 Defenders paced it well and earned a massive six-point Dream Run. To cut down the deficit, the Giants went for the kill with a Powerplay and with the nick of time they cleaned up the Quick Guns. In the dying moments of the game, Giants looked sloppy in their chase. Chennai Quick Guns Defenders were astonishing on the mat and won the thriller by a scoreline of 53-51 against Gujarat Giants. With this loss, the Giants have slipped to the 2nd  spot on the standings.

Match Awards:

Attacker of the Match: Ramji Kashyap
Defender of the Match: Mareppa
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Vijaybhai Vegad