Telugu Yoddhas and Gujarat Giants finish the league stage on a winning note in inaugural edition of Ultimate Kho Kho at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune. While Telugu Yoddhas notched up an easy 65-36 win over Odisha Juggernauts, Gujarat Giants defeated Rajasthan Warriors by 47-42.
Wazir Abhinandhan Patil clinched eight points in Gujarat Giants’ victory. Skipper Majahar Jamadar put up an impressive show for Rajasthan Warriors with seven points. The Kho-Kho players also received special support from Prithvi Shaw on Wednesday as the young India batsman watched the matches and enjoyed the breathtaking action of Ultimate Kho Kho.
With 12 points, Dhruv played a crucial role in Telugu Yoddhas’ win along with Dhanush KC, who scored eight points. For Odisha Juggernauts, Aditya Kudale, Arjun Singh and Manoj Ghotekar claimed four points each. Telugu Yoddhas started off the game aggressively against strong Odisha Juggernauts as they found themselves ahead in the game with a 28-26 lead at the end of the first innings.
Dhruv scored nine points by dismissing three players as Telugu Yoddhas added 27 more points to their tally to take the game away from Odisha Juggernauts. Odisha Juggernauts tried making a comeback in the final turn but Sinam Rokeson Singh (4.01min), Thokchom Sadananda Meitei (2.59 min) and Sudershan (2.38 min) stood tall for Telugu Yoddhas in defence and helped their team complete an easy win in the end.
With 23 points, Gujarat Giants have qualified for the playoffs of India’s first-ever franchise-based Kho-Kho league, alongside Odisha Juggernauts (21pts), Telugu Yoddhas (19pts) and Chennai Quick Guns (15pts). Playoffs will kickstart on Friday qualifier 1 and the eliminator while the qualifier 2 will take place on Saturday.
Earlier in the first match of the day, Rajasthan Warriors presented some challenge for Gujarat Giants, who have already cemented their position in the Top-2 on the points table. Rajasthan Warriors dismissed eight opposition defenders to take 20-2 lead in the opening turn but Gujarat Giants were successful to keep themselves ahead in the game with a narrow 23-22 lead at the innings break.
Sagar Potdar secured four bonus points for Gujarat Giants for his 3.21-minute defence, which restricted Rajasthan Warriors to just 18 points in the third turn. However, Nilesh Patil provided Gujarat Giants a winning lead with less than two minutes left when he captured Yalla Satish with a skilled pole dive before they secured the match comfortably.