Buckley at his best for undefeated Meerkats

GREG Buckley's brilliant 83 in Friday Night's McDonald's Megahit Twenty20 match could not have been better timed - with his parents Peter and Sharon in the grandstand after arriving for a surprise visit from a snow-bound England earlier in the week.

Buckley opened the batting for Dubbo City Toyota Meerkats against Australian Poker League and what a crowd pleasing innings it was.

With Buckley and Aidan Bennewith (40) sharing a third wicket partnership of 91 in less than seven overs, Meerkats were able to post 183 for the loss of five wickets.

APL in reply were eight down for 157 in the run chase despite some solid batting up front from Dave McAllister and captain Ben Strachan.

Those at the ground for the first innings saw the Englishman Greg Buckley at his best.

He used just 32 scoring shots for his 83 and while he and Bennewith were blazing away the overall total could have been much higher.

With three overs left to be bowled Buckley was well in sight of the competition's first century for the season, but he came undone when Warren Dodd Jnr accepted a great catch on the boundary off Lachlan Strachan's bowling.

Buckley came up with six fours but the five sixes really took its toll on the bowling.

To be honest though, both Buckley and Bennewith - three fours and a six - did benefit from some ordinary catching and ground fielding from APL during their adventurous stay at the wicket.

Of the other Meerkats batsmen Mat Skinner made a quick fire 26 and Nathan Munro and played more cricket-like shots for 19 not out in a couple of overs at the end.

Meerkats opening bowlers Zac Murphy and Brittany Naden didn't give too much away in their early overs.

McAllister middled the ball nicely for 48 and Lee Price made a scratchy 19 but it was the explosive batting from Ben Strachan that made you think that maybe the APL could make a game of it.

The big man found some great meat in the middle of his bat and the ball absolutely flew off it.

He hit six sixes and just one four in his 21 scoring shots but once he was out to a Bennewith catch off Nathan Munro that was the beginning of the end for the APL.

The Meerkats have now won both their games this season, but the APL are yet to register a positive result.

This coming Friday night, down for decision is the game between defending champions Club Dubbo (Newtown) and Mudgee which should be a cracker.

Mudgee went down to Christies Crackerjacks prior to Christmas in their first trip over here while Club Dubbo have done everything right thus far accounting for Christies and McGrath Foundation.

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