Riding on Nilesh Jadhav’s remarkable all-round performance, Odisha Juggernauts clinched a sensational come-from-behind win against Rajasthan Warriors by six points at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, here on Thursday.
Jadhav recorded 3.22 minutes in the defense and also scored 16 points in the attack including six dismissals. Another top performer of the match, skipper Dipesh More led Odisha Juggernauts from the front with a timely defence of 3.58 minutes as Odisha Juggernauts won by a 51-45 margin and claimed the top position in the points table with their fourth successive victory.
For Rajasthan Warriors, Akshay Ganpule impressed the most by defending for 5.32 minutes, including 2.57 minutes in the second innings.
Jadhav started the game with a good defence technique in the opening turn but Rajasthan Warriors grabbed 21 points.
Continuing their hunt for a maiden win of the season, Rajasthan Warriors looked equally strong when they switched to defence as they restricted the in-form Odisha Juggernauts to just 17 points. Dilrajsing Sengar and Akshay Ganpule contributed brilliantly, winning bonus points for defence time of 3.25 minutes and 2.35 minutes respectively.
They ended the first innings with the score of 27-21 in their favour.
However, More came to the rescue of Odisha Juggernauts as he bagged six bonus points for his defence of almost four minutes. His dream run ended with an injury that caused his dismissal by Sengar. Due to More’s performance, Rajasthan Warriors had to settle for only 16 points in the third turn.
Ganpule once again spent close to three minutes in the defence. But Jagannatha Murmu captured him to equal the score for Odisha Juggernauts before they completed a nail-biting win.
Chennai Quick Guns, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Khiladis, Odisha Juggernauts, Rajasthan Warriors and Telugu Yoddhas are the six franchises competing in season 1 of India’s first-ever franchise-based Kho Kho league. The league is promoted by Amit Burman in collaboration with the Kho Kho Federation of India.
On Friday, Chennai Quick Guns and Mumbai Khiladis will face challenges from Gujarat Giants and Telugu Yoddhas, respectively.