Odisha Juggernauts registered their fifth successive victory to qualify for the playoffs after registering a 23-point win over Mumbai Khiladis while Chennai Quick Guns returned to winning ways by beating Rajasthan Warriors 57-36 in Ultimate Kho Kho at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune, Maharashtra on Saturday.
Scoring five points and defending for 3.13 minutes, Milind Chavarekar played a crucial role in Odisha Juggernauts’ 60-37 win. Suraj Lande also contributed for the winning side with 12 points.
In Chennai Quick Guns’ win, Madan impressed in the defence with a crucial 3.55-minute stay while in-form Ramji Kashyap produced an all-round show by scoring 18 points and defending for 5.02 minutes as they won by 21 points.
Having won their previous two matches, Mumbai Khiladis raced to a 16-8 lead in the starting seven minutes but Odisha Juggernauts took just two minutes in the second run to go past opposition score, eventually ending the first innings with a 29-20 lead.
Chavarekar began the second innings by winning four bonus points for his stay of 3.13 minutes and then Dinesh Naik (2.34 minutes) added two more points in the defence to restrict Mumbai Khiladis to a lead of just two points in the third turn.
Odisha Juggernauts did not let the momentum slip away and scored enough points in the final turn to secure a victory as well as the top position on the points table with 18 points.
Sreejesh S scored seven points for Mumbai Khiladis.
Odisha Juggernauts are the second team to qualify for the playoffs after Gujarat Giants.
Earlier, despite coming into the match following two back-to-back losses, Chennai Quick Guns looked aggressive throughout the game.
Mahesh Shinde contributed in Chennai Quick Guns’ victory defending for 3.03 minutes. Akshay Ganpule, on the other hand, was the top performer for Rajasthan, scoring seven points.
Adding 20 points in the third turn, Chennai Quick Guns took the game away from Rajasthan Warriors taking a 53-19 lead. The 34-point gap proved too big for Rajasthan as Chennai notched a convincing win.
P Narsayya gave Chennai Quick Guns their first breakthrough by dismissing Abhijit Patil in the first minute of the game before they secured a 23-point lead in the first turn.
Switching positions, Chennai Quick Guns kept things under control quite comfortably and denied oppositions too many points with Shinde, Kashyap and Madan exhibiting solid defence to keep their side in the lead at the end of first innings with a 33-15 score.
On Sunday, Odisha Juggernauts will face Telugu Yoddhas while Gujarat Giants will take on Rajasthan Warriors.
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