2024 started with a blockbuster end-to-end contest where a resolute Chennai Quick Guns got the better of a solid Gujarat Giants unit to win this top-of-the-table clash 35-29 on Monday in the Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2. The win took Chennai to the top spot where they now sit comfortably with 14 points, while the Giants find themselves in the second spot with 12 points.
The match began with Gujarat Giants all set to display their attacking skills to the fullest. They started strong by taking out Chennai’s first batch within two minutes. But, in came the Quick Guns talisman, Ramji Kashyap, in Batch 2. Though Gujarat had used their Powerplay, Chennai were able to score a double Dream Run, missing out on a third point by mere seconds. Chennai’s Batch 3 came in with 1:17 on the clock, but Gujarat managed to Kho just one opponent, thus, ending the turn with the score reading 14-2.
Chennai started their attack in Turn 2 by utilizing their Powerplay, but Gujarat defenders held strong to not only score one or two, but a fantastic 3-point Dream Run, staying on the mat for a commendable four minutes. The Chennai attackers, unfortunately, couldn’t really make a comeback and were unable to get the better of Batch 2. When the whistle for the end of the Turn blew, Gujarat was already enjoying a solid 7-point lead with the scoreline reading 17-10 in their favour.
To keep the pressure up in Turn 3, Gujarat took the Powerplay in the first Batch itself, and fully utilized the extra Wazir to take Chennai out in 1:16 minutes. However, the brilliant Ramji Kashyap was fully prepared to take things in his own hands for his team, and went on to score a whopping 5-point Dream Run in Batch 2, staying on the mat for an unbelievable 5:24 minutes. Thanks to his efforts, Chennai were able to cut the deficit and ended Turn 2 with the scoreline reading 29-15, with all to play for in the last Turn.
Chennai started Turn 4 with a positive mindset and a Powerplay. Though they took 2:44 minutes to tap out the first Gujarat Batch, they were able to easily overpower Batch 2 and 3 to take a solid lead, all thanks to Durvesh Salunke’s heroics. In the end, it became difficult for Gujarat to lessen the lead and the match ended with Chennai Quick Guns winning it fair and square with a 29-35 scoreline.
Chennai will face Odisha Juggernauts next on January 2 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack with the aim to solidify their position at the top, whereas, Gujarat Giants will face Mumbai Khiladis next in an effort to win back their lost crown.
Attacker of the Match: Rajvardhan Patil (Gujarat Giants)
Defender of the Match: Vijay Shinde (Chennai Quick Guns)
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Ramji Kashyap (Chennai Quick Guns)