Chennai Quick Guns put up an impressive show to secure their maiden win in the inaugural edition of Ultimate Kho Kho by defeating Telugu Yoddhas while Gujarat thrashed Mumbai Khiladis to clinch a hat-trick of wins at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune, Maharashtra.
Riding on Ramji Kashyap’s all-around show Chennai Quick Guns ended their hunt for the first win by notching up a six-point win. Ranjan Shetty-led Gujarat Giants, on the other hand, recorded their second successive victory against Mumbai Khiladis by 18 points. They had earlier defeated Mumbai Khiladis by 25 points in the league opener.
Ramji Kashyap put up a sensational show for Chennai Quick Guns. He not only spent two minutes and 32 seconds in the defence but also grabbed 18 points in the attack to ensure his side earn three points for the first time. He captured six opposition defenders as four of them came off breathtaking skydives. P Narasayya also scored eight points for the winning team.
It was also the first defeat for the Telugu Yoddhas, who came into the match having won the first two games, including one against Chennai Quick Guns on the opening day. For Telugu Yoddhas, Arun Gunki scored 13 points in the attack by dismissing five players while Rohan Shingade struck 11 points.
Earlier in the first match of the day, Gujarat Giants skipper Ranjan led from the front by scoring six points for his side in the attack as Gujarat Giants extended their unbeaten run in the league. Vinayak Pokarde and Nilesh Patil also added eight and seven points respectively.
For his brilliant show in the attack, Ranjan was adjudged Best Attacker of the Match. He received the award from a special guest of the match, Avinash Sable, who won the historic silver medal in the men’s 3000m steeplechase at the recent Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham. Sable also enjoyed the thrilling action of the league.
Durvesh Salunke of Mumbai Khiladis impressed in the attack by clinching 11 points for his side. He was awarded the Ultimate Kho of the Match award. Gujarat’s Suyash Gargate received the Best Defender of the Match award.
Gujarat Giants began the match with the powerplay, activating their two wazirs, Akshay Bhangare and Abhinandhan Patil. The decision paid off as they dismissed the first batch of Mumbai Khiladis, comprising skipper Vijay Hajare, Rohan Kore, and Visag S, in just two minutes and seven seconds.
With Ranjan and Pokarde dismissing two opposition defenders each, Gujarat Giants finished the first seven minutes at 25-0 lead by capturing 10 defenders overall.
Mumbai, on the other hand, also started their defence with a powerplay and took only one minute and 30 seconds to out the first opposition batch with Gajanan Shengal taking the first two wickets, Pokarde first, and then Mareppa with a brilliant pole dive. Salunke dismissed the final player of the batch, Akshay Bhangare by a pole dive.
Salunke grabbed 11 points for Mumbai Khiladis by dismissing four defenders, three of them with stunning dives. At the innings break, scores were locked 27-27 with Gargate earning two bonus points for Gujarat in defence by spending more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Gujarat Giants started the second innings with more aggression as they added an impressive 37 points to their score. Nilesh Patil took three wickets for them. Though Mumbai gave their all in an attempt to recover but managed to score only 21 points in the final seven minutes as Gujarat Giants completed a comfortable win over Mumbai Khiladis.