A Kho Kho fan ought to use two adjectives - Dominance and Resilience - to summarise today’s schedule in Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2.
Game 7 had the Telugu Yoddhas upstage the Rajasthan Warriors in all areas, claiming a 38-28 victory that took them into the top half of the UKK Season 2 points table. On the other hand, Odisha Juggernauts gave us a performance for the ages, turning a 14-15 deficit into a 31-28 victory against the Mumbai Khiladis.
Here are the highlights of Matchday 4….
Match 7: Telugu Yoddhas vs Rajasthan Warriors
The aggression and intent of the Telugu Yoddhas proved to be a difficult mountain to climb for the Rajasthan Warriors from the first whistle.
Turn 1 saw the Yoddhas ease to an 18-1 lead, thanks to Rahul Mandal’s six Sky Dives. Rahul would once again be a headache for the Warriors in Turn 2. The all-rounder, alongside captain Pratik Waikar, with the duo stitching Dream Runs each to take the score to 20:13 at half-time.
Come Turn 3, and Telugu Yoddhas were once again making merry of the Rajasthan Warriors’ apparent mistakes on the mat, which mainly comprised of defenders clashing during their runs and the Yoddhas attackers registering 18 attack points to take the score to 38-14 and an unassailable lead of 28 points.
Although they tried to fight back, the persisting errors by their players - illegal KHOs - saw Rajasthan Warriors fall short by 10 points. Telugu Yoddhas, meanwhile, claimed a 38-28 win and jumped up to the third spot on the points table.
Best Attacker: Sourav Adavkar
Best Defender: Aditya Ganpule
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Rahul Mandal
Match 8: Mumbai Khiladis vs Odisha Juggernauts
The stuff that champions are made of! Odisha Juggernauts flipped the tables on Mumbai Khiladis and outfoxed them to seal a 31-28 win at their home turf of Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack.
The Khiladis, as in the previous games, began with optimism and notched a 14-0 lead in Turn 1. However, the joy in the Mumbai Khiladis camp would be shortlived as the current holders of the Ultimate Kho Kho trophy reduced the deficit to a mere one point at the end of Turn 2.
Turns 3 and 4 solely belonged to Odisha attackers Manoj Patil and Deepak Sahoo. With less than four minutes left, Manoj showed his athleticism to complete two impressive dodge moves en route to a well-deserved Dream Run for the hosts in Turn 3.
In Turn 4, Deepak Sahoo was the chief pilot of the comeback as he got the score from 15-27 to 27-28. Manoj Patil would shine this time in the attack as he won the lead back for Odisha Juggernauts with less than three minutes to go and would score the winning point to see his team end the night with a 31-28 win in the bag.
Best Attacker: Deepak Sahoo
Best Defender: Hrushikesh Murchavade
Ultimate Kho of the Match: Rohan Shingade