Gujarat boys sailed into the quarterfinals after putting up attacking game; boys from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi also reached the last eight on day three at the ongoing 39th Junior Kho Kho National Championships being played at SMC School, here in Surat.
Gujarat, driving high with confidence and backed with local support defeated Haryana by 4 points in a close match. All-rounder Manish dazzled for the host, he secured 2 points in each innings to widen the winning margin and posed a strong defence showcasing long-running technique to tire his counterparts. The host team also put up a strong chase with ample boundary line dives to finally pocket the match 21-17.
The most thrilling match in the pre-quarter was played between the boys’ team of Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
The nail-biting thriller ended in Delhi’s favour as the team from the Capital won the match by a single point. The winning team managed to put 10 Tamil Nadu players off the mat in the first innings itself while Tamil Nadu could only pull off 4 points in return. The Tamil Nadu boys though made a strong comeback in the second-innings by securing 7 consecutive points to take a one-point lead in the third round. Delhi, however, displayed a resilient fightback to gather much needed 2 points in the last round and won the match with seven and a half minutes to spare.
Kho Kho giants, Maharashtra had an easy day out as they plumed Uttar Pradesh. The boys marched into the round of eight after a one-sided win with a margin of 15 points and an innings.
Saurabh Ahir stood out for Maharashtra with a defensive play displaying a zig-zag sprint for little over 3 minutes as he bagged 3 points while chasing to give Maharashtra an initial lead in the match.
Karnataka also managed to find a place in the quarters as they defeated Odisha in yet another close and exciting match. Kerela, Kolhapur and Telangana have also qualified for the pre-quarter-final match.