Gujarat Giants moved to the top of the Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2 table with a 42-22 victory over Telugu Yoddhas at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Monday.
The victory was built on the back of a solid defensive performance as Gujarat Giants’ defenders earned a total of eight dream run points. Arnav Patankar and V Subramani led the attacking show for Gujarat Giants with ten points each.
Gujarat Giants started the match off with an excellent defensive performance. The first batch of Vinayak Pokarde, Akshay Bhangare, and Ram Mohan toyed around with the Telugu Yoddhas attackers whilst being aided by a series of successful reviews. This batch scored a whopping five Dream Runs. However, at the end of Turn 1, the Yoddhas held a slender 8-5 lead.
Come Turn 2, the Telugu Yoddhas hit back with an excellent defensive performance of their own. Lipun Mukhi, Prasad Patil and Arunk Gunki - from the first batch - managed four Dream Runs. Gunki, in particular, was impressive as he spent nearly three minutes on the mat. However, the Yoddhas’ moment of joy would be shortlived as the Giants pulled back the advantage. At half-time, the score read 19-12 in favour of the Gujarat Giants.
A big performance in Turn 3 would have gotten the Telugu Yoddhas back in the match, but that did not happen. Gujarat Giants were in the driving seat, with their first and second defensive batches managing three Dream Runs. That meant the scores were locked 22-22, heading into the final turn, leaving Telugu Yoddhas with a near-impossible task.
The Yoddhas needed to defend with all their might in Turn 4, but their initial batch lasted for just 1:47 minutes, thus giving the Giants a six-point lead. The Gujarat Giants upped the ante as they got rid of the following two batches inside three minutes to see their lead take an unassailable leap. Although their last batch remained unbeaten in the end, the game was Gujarat’s to win courtesy of a 42-22 scoreline.
What’s next? The Gujarat Giants will take on Chennai Quick Guns for the final battle of the top spot on the league table, while Telugu Yoddhas’ league stage commitments have ended.
Attacker of the Match: Arnav Patankar (Gujarat Giants)
Defender of the Match: Arun Gunki (Telugu Yoddhas)
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Katla Ram Mohan (Gujarat Giants)