Day 3 of the Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) League lay witness to two fabulous encounters at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune. Telugu registered back-to-back wins when they comprehensively beat Rajasthan Warriors 68-47, who are yet to add points against their name on the points tally. In the second game of the day, Gujarat won their consecutive game of the tournament after defeating Odisha Juggernauts 54-49 in a game which went down to the wire.

Match 5: Telugu Yoddhas vs Rajasthan Warriors

Rajasthan Warriors’ captain Majahar Jamadar won the toss and chose to Defend first. Though Arun Gunki got Telugu Yoddhas off the mark with a three-point Pole Dive, the Warriors’ Batch 1 did a splendid job of registering a Dream Run for their side. Warriors’ Defenders were edging towards another Dream Run at the end of Turn 1 but the Yoddhas’ Attackers showed their skills to take them off the mat. A total of two Sky Dives and three Pole Dives helped the Yoddhas to get a 22-point lead over the Warriors at the end of Turn 1. 

Rajasthan’s Attackers looked to turn on the heat in Turn 2, but the Yoddhas were not ready to give away easy points. Telugu’s Batch 3 scored a stupendous six-point Dream Run - the first ever in UKK’s history, thanks to their All-Rounder, Rohan Shingade. The Kolhapur lad showcased brilliant physicality as he stayed on the mat for more than 3:30 minutes. This ensured that by the end of the first inning, Yoddhas had a 10-point lead.

Yoddhas kept dealing in three points even when they came to attack in Turn 3. Brilliant coordination was seen from their Attackers throughout the course of the game. They executed their plans really well and extended their lead. Telugu swept away all the four Batches of Warriors’ Defenders, and got a Full On Chase in this turn. The Warriors succumbed under pressure as they failed to earn a single defending point in this Turn. By the end of Turn 3, the Yoddhas had a mammoth 46-point lead.

Majahar Jamadar brought his experience into play for the Warriors in the attack, while the Powerplay was on, but it wasn’t enough for them to make a comeback in the contest. Yoddhas continued their amazing form in the defence and got another Dream Run, which proved to be the final nail in the coffin. The Yoddhas trashed the Warriors by 21 points. It takes them to the top of the table.

Match Awards:

Attacker of the Match: Prasad Radye

Defender of the Match: Rohan Shingade

Ultimate Kho of the Match: Rohan Shingade

Match 6: Gujarat Giants vs Odisha Juggernauts

Gujarat Giants won the toss and elected to Defend first. Odisha Juggernauts made a solid start to the game as they got rid of the first batch of Gujarat Defenders Batch 1 pretty soon. However, the Giants’ Defender, Suyash Gargate, stayed on the mat for 3:01 minutes and opened the account for them with a four-point Dream Run. By the end of the first Turn, Odisha were leading the game by 19 points.

Gujarat Giants brought their A-game to the table when it was their turn to attack and accelerated the pace of the game.  Nilesh Jadhav turned out to be the hero in the defence for the Giants and added a Dream Run to their kitty. The game looked evenly poised at the end of the first inning as Odisha were trailing the game by just one point. 

In Turn 3, Akshay Bhangare tried his best to add more points to the Gujarat Giants’ scorecard but he missed out on getting a Dream Run by just 2 seconds. Juggernauts’ Attackers added 24 points for their side in this turn while the Giants failed to score a single defending point and were trailing by 23 points.

Gujarat Giants took the Powerplay to close down the deficit and they recovered well to do the undoable. They took the lead with less than a minute left and they held their nerve in the final turn to win the nail-biter by 5 points.

Match Awards:

Attacker of the Match: Milind Chavrekar

Defender of the Match: Suyash Gargate

Ultimate Kho of the Match: Aniket Pote