Shillong, Jan 4: Meghalaya declared their first innings of the Ranji Trophy plate group match against Arunachal Pradesh on a mighty 610/6, doing so after Tarique Siddique (pictured) became the third player in the team to hit a century.

At stumps on the second day, Arunachal had made 148/4, which is 462 runs behind Meghalaya’s first innings score.

The day began with Siddique not out on 21 while guest professional Punit Bisht was unbeaten on 205. The latter’s incredible innings did not last too much longer, however, with the wicketkeeper-captain dismissed off the 20th delivery he faced today for 215 from 213 balls. The other bat to get to triple figures was Kishan Lyngdoh (128) yesterday.

Siddique has only played two first-class matches before, in late 2018, and could make more than single-digit scores in four innings. Today, after honing his skills for the past four years, the left-hander demonstrated his true potential with an unbeaten 102, which came off 189 deliveries and included 13 fours.

He and guest professional Rajesh Bishnoi (57 not out) made 129 for the the unbroken seventh wicket stand as Meghalaya declared on a monumental total.

In response, Arunachal lost four wickets cheaply but were saved by Anup Ahlawat, who is not out on 123 from 124 deliveries in what is only his third innings of first-class cricket. The 22-year-old struck 20 fours and a couple of sixes as he accounted for 83 percent of his side’s runs.

Of the Meghalaya bowlers, Dippu Ch Sangma took 1/18, Abhishek Kumar 1/21, Arbin Singh 1/31 on debut and Bishnoi 1/43. Ahlawat has proven to be the sole thorn in their side and Meghalaya will want to get him out quickly tomorrow morning.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo)

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