Cuttack: Odisha Juggernauts ended their group stage campaign in Season 2 of the Ultimate Kho Kho league with a 34-23 victory over Mumbai Khiladis at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Tuesday.
The defending champions are temporarily top of the table but will relinquish that position to the winner of the later encounter between Chennai Quick Guns and Gujarat Giants. For Mumbai Khiladis, a disappointing campaign ended with just a couple of victories on the board.
Mumbai Khiladis started the match with their first defending batch of Hrushikesh Murchavade, Sibin M, and Pratik Devare securing two dream run points. But Odisha Juggernauts made quick work of the second batch to end Turn 1 with a 12-2 lead.
Turn 2 kicked off with Odisha Juggernauts’ first defending batch of Debendra Nath, Vishal and Nikhil Sodaye securing a dream run point. Their second batch of Vishal Oram, Sobhag Sriganda and Visag S did one better by getting two dream run points. The match, at the end of the first innings, looked tantalisingly poised with the scores at 15-14 in favour of Odisha Juggernauts.
Odisha Juggernauts turned the tide in their favour by making quick work of the first two Mumbai Khiladis batches. That meant that they carried a 15-point lead into the final turn. Manoj Kumar was the pick of the attackers for Odisha with six points.
And if there was a glimmer of hope for Mumbai Khiladis, Odisha Juggernauts’ opening batch of Mahesha P., Niranjan Samal and M.D. Mirajul killed it with a superb defensive display.
They ran rings around the Mumbai Khiladis attackers, securing five dream run points and spending five minutes and 20 seconds on the mat. Mahesha, in particular, was impressive, as he eluded the Mumbai Khiladis attackers for two minutes and 33 seconds.
Ultimate Kho Kho Season 2 will continue on Thursday with the semifinals.