Telugu Yoddhas, the GMR Group-owned team, became the first team to qualify for the Ultimate Kho-Kho Season 2 playoffs after defeating Chennai Quick Guns 38-30 in a Southern Derby tonight. Playing their eighth game of the season at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Cuttack, Telugu Yoddhas registered their fourth consecutive win in their style.
For the Yoddhas, Rahul Mandal was awarded the Best Attacker of the Match award for his sensational performance, earning the highest 10 points from the game. Captain Pratik Waikar, Milind Chavrekar, Sourabh Adavkar, and Arun Gunki contributed to their team’s victory by earning six, six, six, and four points, respectively.
Telugu Yoddhas will next play against Rajasthan Warriors on January 7, 2024. The game will be telecast LIVE and exclusively on the Sony Sports Network and can be streamed LIVE on the SonyLIV platform from 8:30 PM onwards.
Attacking in Turn 1, Telugu Yoddhas’ Captain Pratik Waikar drew the game’s first blood through a running touch, followed by a Pole Dive executed by the captain within the same minute. Subsequently, another young Yoddha, Rahul Mandal, intensified the pressure on his opponents with breathtaking Sky Dives. The Yoddhas proved unstoppable since they took the mat, sending back all four batches of their opponents and inflicting a flawless All-Out on the Quick Guns. Playing like true warriors, Rahul Mandal, Pratik Waikar, and Sourabh Adavkar teamed up to conclude the first Turn with a massive score of 24-0 in Telugu Yoddhas’ favour.
The Turn 2 kicked off with the Yoddhas taking the mat as a defensive side continued their dominance, displaying their exceptional defensive skills. The defenders showcased agility and flexibility, making it challenging for Chennai attackers to earn maximum attacking points. Akash Togare of Telugu Yoddhas contributed significantly by continuously running past the opponent attackers for three minutes, earning a crucial point through a Dream Run. The Yoddhas’ outstanding performance limited Chennai’s points to twelve, and Turn 2 ended with a scorecard reading 25-12, still in favour of Telugu.
The second innings began with Turn 3, and Telugu Yoddhas had the task of setting a target for their opponents by earning maximum attacking points. Despite being unstoppable in Turn 1, the Yoddhas couldn’t sustain the same momentum. However, they still managed to earn twelve points from the turn. The Quick Guns also attempted a comeback as their defenders secured two crucial points through Dream Run. Turn 3 concluded favouring Telugu Yoddhas, with the scorecard reading 37-14.
The final turn of the game required Chennai to overcome a 23-point lead and achieve the challenging target. For Telugu Yoddhas, it was crucial to spend the maximum time on the mat, preventing the opponents’ attackers from touching them, and they succeeded. Despite Quick Guns’ efforts to make a comeback, it was too late as Telugu Yoddhas, led by Captain Pratik Waikar, played like authentic leaders. Pratik Waikar earned a crucial Dream Run point, securing an impressive eight-point victory. Telugu Yoddhas prevailed over Chennai Quick Guns by a score of 38-30, sealing their playoff berth.