Odisha Juggernauts too qualify with victory over Gujarat Giants
Cuttack, January 6, 2024: Chennai Quick Guns grabbed the final semifinal spot of Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2, defeating Mumbai Khiladis 41-18 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Saturday.
Odisha Juggernauts had qualified for the semifinals earlier in the day with a victory over Gujarat Giants, while the latter and Telugu Yoddhas had made the cut on Friday.
Ultimate Kho Kho, promoted by Amit Burman in collaboration with the Kho Kho Federation of India, became the first Indian sports league to secure Series A funding, courtesy the UK-based BNP Group.
Mumbai Khiladis won the toss and chose to defend but the performance of their defenders in Turn 1 did not vindicate their decision. They did not manage even a single dream run point as Chennai Quick Guns raced to a 16-0 lead.
Chennai Quick Guns consolidated their position with a brilliant defensive display in Turn 2. Their first batch of Ramji Kashyap, Madan and Vijay Shinde managed to last five minutes and 34 seconds on the mat, scoring six dream run points. Two members of their second batch remained unconquered as Chennai Quick Guns carried a massive 22-8 lead into the second innings.
The Chennai Quick Guns attackers continued their good show in Turn 3. They sent back Mumbai Khiladis first batch in two minutes and 20 seconds and their second batch in under two minutes. That left Mumbai Khiladis with the mathematically-impossible task of scoring 30 points in the final turn. That three different players — Suraj Lande, Sachin Bhargo and Akash Kadam — scored six points showed the potency of the Chennai Quick Guns attack.
In an earlier match, Odisha Juggernauts became the third team to make it to the semifinals of Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2, scoring a narrow 30-27 victory over Gujarat Giants.
Odisha Juggernauts won an encounter that was too close to call till the final whistle, with Rohan Singade frustrating Gujarat Giants attackers in the final turn and making the difference.
Gujarat Giants won the toss and chose to defend first. Their first batch of Suyash Gargate, Faizankha Pathan and Abhijit Patil managed a dream run point, a feat that the next batch of K Ram Mohan, V Subramani and Rajvardhan Patil emulated. Turn 1 finished 14-2 in favour of Odisha Juggernauts.
Turn 2 started with an amazing defensive show by Odisha Juggernauts. Their first batch of Gowtham MK, Vishal and Dilip Khandavi managed to stay on the pitch for five minutes and 13 seconds, scoring a whopping five dream run points. With Manoj Patil staying unconquered among the second batch, Odisha Juggernauts went into the second innings with a 19-14 lead.
Gujarat Giants’ first Turn 3 batch of Akshay Bhangare, Deepak Madhav and Shubham Thorat managed two dream run points and their second batch carried on the good work. Both Suyash Gargate and Abhijit Patil remained unconquered while netting a dream run point. That meant that Odisha Juggernauts only had a ten-point lead to defend in the final turn.
Odisha Juggernauts needed to emulate their first innings defensive show to salvage the match. Their first batch of Dipesh More, Nikhil B and Omkar Sonawane managed a dream run point, leaving Gujarat Giants with five points to get in little over three minutes. Singade though had other ideas.
Sunday’s matches will see Mumbai Khiladis take on Rajasthan Warriors, and Odisha Juggernauts take on Telugu Yoddhas.
The exciting action of Ultimate Kho Kho will be telecast on Sony Sports Network’s channels and SonyLiv with live coverage of two matches daily starting at 7.30pm IST.