Cuttack, December 31, 2023: Mumbai Khiladis registered their first win in the ongoing Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2 as they defeated Rajasthan Warriors 31-30 on Sunday, while Telugu Yoddhas held their nerve in the last 59 seconds to beat defending champions Odisha Juggernauts by 29-28 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack.
P Siva Reddy was the star of the match for Mumbai Khiladis as he clinched 8 points and stayed on the mat for more than 2 minutes to contribute to the team’s defence as well. Sreejes S and Gajanan Shengal also spent 4 minutes on the court to win dream run bonus points for the Mumbai side.
Promoted by Amit Burman in collaboration with the Kho Kho Federation of India, Ultimate Kho Kho became a huge hit in the first season, emerging as India’s third-largest non-cricket league in terms of television viewership. It also became the first Indian sports league to secure Series A funding, courtesy of the UK-based BNP Group.
Rajasthan Warriors allowed Mumbai Khiladis to win only 12 points during the first turn and earned a dream run bonus point to get off to a positive start in the match. However, Mumbai defended well before the end of the first inning and gave Rajasthan 12 points. The third turn also went in the favour of Mumbai Khiladis as they secured 14 points with Sreejes S and P Siva Reddy contributing 8 points. Rajasthan made a remarkable comeback during the last turn and eliminated the first batch of Mumbai in just 33 seconds. However, Mumbai turned the match around with three dream run bonus points in the last minutes to earn their first win in the ongoing league.
Earlier, In a see-saw battle, captain Pratik Waikar scored the most 10 points for Telugu Yoddhas, whereas Aditya Ganpule, Avdhut Patil and Akash Tagore stayed on the mat for more than 5 minutes to claim crucial dream run bonus points for the winning side.
Defending first, Odisha Juggernauts made a frantic start to the match and earned three dream run bonus points in the first turn of the contest. Telugu Yoddhas managed to clinch only 10 points before producing a sparkling performance in defence during the second turn. The batch of Avdhut Patil, Pratik Waikar and Aditya Ganpule won four dream run bonus points for Telugu Yoddhas and Odisha could only take a mere 1 point lead in the first inning despite getting 12 points in attack.
Odisha then notched up a dream run bonus point during the third round, allowing the Yoddhas to earn 14 points in the attack. The last turn witnessed a see-saw battle between the two teams and in the end, Odisha needed to eliminate a player for victory with only 59 seconds left on the clock. However, the Telugu Yoddhas defended effectively, securing a thrilling win to get three points.
Table-toppers Gujarat Giants will take on Chennai Quick Guns on Monday, whereas Rajasthan Warriors will play against Telugu Yoddhas. The exciting action of Season 2 will be telecasted on Sony Sports Network’s channels and SonyLIV with live coverage of daily two matches starting at 7:30 PM IST.