Ultimate Kho Kho 2022, Highlights: Odisha Juggernauts enter final, Telugu Yoddhas eliminate Chennai Quick Guns
The 2022 Ultimate Kho Kho has its playoffs underway, with Qualifier 1 and Eliminator being held currently. While Odisha Juggernauts have entered the final, Chennai Quick Guns have been eliminated. Here are the highlights.
Odisha Juggernauts registered a total 57-43 victory over Gujarat Giants to storm into the final, while Telugu Yoddhas knocked out Chennai Quick Guns 61-43 in the inaugural edition of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) 2022 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Friday. Suraj Lande contributed to Juggernauts’ victory by achieving 13 points, eliminating five players, including Dilip Khandavi, who gaily defended for 3.48 minutes in the final turn. Abhinandhan Patil scored ten points for Giants. Despite a 14-point defeat, Giants still have a circumstance to confirm their final berth, as they will be playing the eliminator match winner, Yoddhas, in Qualifier 2 on Saturday.
Juggernauts and the Qualifier 2 winner will combat for the title in the final on Sunday. In a drastic action between the Top-2 teams of the league, the Juggernauts began the match aggressively by grabbing 23 points in the opening turn. They played equally nicely when they switched to defence, allowing simply 18 points to Giants.
Milind Chavarekar and Avinash Desai stayed unbeaten for 2.38 minutes to secure a couple of bonus points, as Juggernauts led with 27-18 at the end of the opening innings. The Juggernauts counted 24 more points to their calculation in the third turn, thanks to a couple of sky-dive dismissals each from Lande and Aditya Kudale, accumulating 12 points.
Already in the lead, Juggernauts held their nerves in the final seven minutes. Khandavi kept the Giants at bay during his stunning defence of 3.48 minutes, counting six bonus points for Juggernauts before they resolved the game comfortably and paraded into the final. Earlier, Skipper Pratik Waikar’s sharp implementation helped Yoddhas knock out Quick Guns with an influential 61-43 triumph in the Eliminator.
Leading from the front, Waikar demonstrated a skilful defence of 6.43 minutes, including 3.44 minutes of the opening innings. On the other hand, Adarsh Mohit supported him well by scoring 16 points in the attack, dismissing six players, including four on dives. Amit Patil, with a defence of 3.59 minutes, and Madan (eight points) served well for Quick Guns but couldn’t restrict their team from an 18-point defeat.