Top of the table and a ticket to the playoffs; it was a double celebration for the Telugu Yoddhas as they outclassed Chennai Quick Guns with a 38-30 victory in Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Friday.
Despite the defeat, the Quick Guns remain in the fray to qualify for the playoffs, as they need just one win to get involved in the next round.
Win the toss, attack first and do it eccentrically - that was the mantra of the Telugu Yoddhas entering this fixture. They dismissed the Chennai Quick Guns’ first batch in just a minute and 43 seconds. Going forward, none of the remaining batches of CGQ would remain unscathed for more than a minute and 37 seconds. It was a show-stopping act from the Yoddhas as they raced to a 24-0 lead, all thanks to Rahul Mandal (ten points - four Sky Dives, 1 Pole dive) and Pratik Waikar (six points - 1 Touch, 1 Sky Dive, 1 Pole Dive).
Turn 2 saw the Chennai Quick Guns recover slightly as they got the first batch of the Telugu Yoddhas out within two minutes and 41 seconds on the mat. But, the joy remained shortlived as the Yoddhas frustrated the Quick Gun attackers with a Dream Run point to finish the first half with a 25-12 lead.
While they scored a couple of Dream Run points, the Chennai Quick Guns conceded 12 attacking points from the Yoddhas to set up a potentially engaging finale in Turn 4.
Staring at a 23-point deficit, the Quick Guns upped the ante and scored 16 attack points in a spirited manner. However, given their enigmatic start, it would always be a Telugu Yoddhas victory and a late Dream Run from captain Pratik Waikar put the icing on the cake for a 38-30 win in favour of last season’s finalists.
So, what’s next for these teams? Chennai Quick Guns will look to confirm their place in the Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2 with a win over Mumbai Khiladis on January 6, while the Telugu Yoddhas play current holders Odisha Juggernauts on January 7.
Attacker of the Match: Rahul Mandal (Telugu Yoddhas)
Defender of the Match: Adarsh Mohite (Chennai Quick Guns)
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Pratik Waikar (Telugu Yoddhas)