Bemetara (Chhattisgarh): Maharashtra and Kerala entered semi-finals of the Chhattisgarh Amateur Kho Kho Association-organised 53rd Senior National Kho Kho Championships in the men's event at Allons Public School Ground here on Sunday.
While defending champion Maharashtra lived up to its reputation and registered a convincing 15-8 victory over West Bengal, Kerala caused a major upset by beating one of the strongest teams of the competition, Karnataka 17-11.
Maharashtra's Pratik Waikar impressed in defence with a total of three minutes 40 seconds. However, Arun SA played key role in Kerala's victory with an all-round show. He defended for three minutes and 40 seconds and also scored four points.
Maharashtra and Kerala will now take on Kolhapur and Railways respectively in the semi-finals on Monday. Final of both women's and men's category will also be played on Monday. Kolhapur notched up a comfortable 22-10 win over Andhra Pradesh. However, Railways beat Vidarbha 13-9 in their respective quarter-finals.
In the women's event, Maharashtra and Odisha sealed their places in the semi-finals. While, Maharashtra beat Haryana 14-8, Odisha outclassed Kerala 11-9. Maharashtra and Odisha will face Kolhapur and Airport Authority of India respectively in the semi-finals.
Priyanka Bhoj played a vital role, with defending for five minute and 40 second and scoring one point, in Airport Authority of India's win. Earlier, Kolhapur had to fight hard against Delhi during their close-fought 11-10 win.
Shrushti Shinde and Karishma Rikibdar came up with impressive performances for Kolhapur women's team. Shinde defended for three minutes and scored two points while, Rikibdar defended for a total of six minutes, 10 seconds.