Suraj Lande’s sky dive helped Odisha Juggernauts beat Telugu Yoddhas by 46-45 to clinch the title of the inaugural edition of Ultimate Kho Kho in Pune on Sunday.
After Telugu Yoddhas, managed to add 21 points in the third turn to take 41-27 lead, Sachin Bhargo provided two crucial points for his side and also kept Odisha Juggernauts at bay for nearly three minutes. When he was dismissed, Telugu Yoddhas were in lead at 45-43 with just one minute 24 seconds left in the match.
However, Lande, who tested the defence of Telugu Yoddhas in the third turn, had different plans for Odisha Juggernauts. With just 14 seconds remaining in the game, he captured Avdhut Patil with a superb sky dive that not only added three winning points for Odisha Juggernauts but also helped them win the title.
Lande scored nine points in attack for the winning side while Rohan Shingade secured 11 points for Telugu Yoddhas.
Odisha Juggernauts chose to defend as Vishal showcased brilliant skills to put a challenge for the league’s best attacking side, Telugu Yoddhas. Coming into the first batch, he defended for four minutes and 23 seconds to score eight bonus points for Odisha Juggernauts and then skipper Dipesh More and Dilip Khandavi added two more points.
Telugu Yoddhas, the first team to reach 100 defensive points in Ultimate Kho Kho, responded well after switching positions as they not only restricted Odisha Juggernauts to 13 points but also added ten points. However, Odisha Juggernaut kept themselves ahead with a narrow 23-20 lead at the end of the nail-biting first innings.
Champion Odisha Juggernauts awarded with a whooping INR 1 crore prize money and also the coveted trophy while the second-placed Telugu Yoddhas took home INR 50 lakhs.