Cuttack, December 24, 2023: Telugu Yoddhas registered a thrilling 46-44 victory over Mumbai Khiladis, while defending champions Odisha Juggernauts defeated Rajasthan Warriors 35-27 in the Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2 opener at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday.
Rahul Mandal (14 points) scored the most points for Telugu Yoddhas in an action-packed game, while Pratik Warikar also notched up 10 points to take his team to a close win.
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.
The much-awaited second season of Ultimate Kho Kho was inaugurated in the presence of Tenzing Niyogi, CEO & League Commissioner, Ultimate Kho Kho, Sudhanshu Mittal, President, Kho Kho Federation of India, Tusharkanti Behera, Hon’ble Minister of State for Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha and Indian women’s kho kho team captain Nasreen Shaikh alongside Miss India 2020 runner-up Manya Singh.
The owners and representatives of six franchises, Srinath Chittoori (Chennai Quick Guns), Vinay Singh (Gujarat Giants), Punit Balan (Mumbai Khiladis), Ranjit Parida (Odisha Juggernauts), Jigar Shah (Rajasthan Warriors) and PKSV Sagar (Telugu Yoddhas) also attended the glittering opening ceremony.
Telugu Yoddhas were offered to chase first after losing the toss and used the opportunity to the full effect as they earned 24 points by getting all four batches out in the first turn. Pratik Waikar and Milind Chavrekar scored six points each to give their team a perfect start in the match.
Mumbai Khiladis responded with fierce attacking intent and took a lead in the match by clinching 26 points in the second turn. Ankit Pote’s swift moments proved to be a nuisance for the Telugu team as he got 6 points through two pole dives and a skydive. Gajanan Shengal also earned 6 points in the first innings.
The second innings also saw a positive performance from Telugu Yoddhas as they got 22 points and left Mumbai Khiladis to chase 21 points to register a win which proved too much for Ankit’s side.
Earlier, Akshay Masal contributed to the Odisha Juggernauts’ win by scoring 8 points, while Rohan Shingade, Avinash Desai, and Gowtham MK stayed on the mat for more than 4 minutes to take their team to the opening win of the season.
Odisha Juggernauts began the game positively as they claimed a total of 16 points during the first turn. They played equally well when they switched to defence and earned two dream points, allowing Rajasthan to get only 10 points in the first innings to strengthen their grip on the match.
Odisha were on top of their game in the second inning as well despite Rajasthan earning a dream run. The defending champions got 16 points in the third turn, while Rajasthan managed to pick up 17 points with Majahar Jamadar clinching 4 points through 2 skydives. However, it wasn’t enough to bring them back into the game.
Rajasthan Warriors will go up against Gujarat Giants on Monday, while Chennai Quick Guns will take on 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.