Chile began their Americas Division 3 campaign with an outstanding 26 run victory over pre-tournament favourites Belize, forged by Chilean skipper and man of the match Simon Shalders with a brilliant 104 off 84 balls, while debutants Peru found it tough going losing by 8 wickets to a rampant Turks & Caicos Islands combination, where veteran captain Ralph Doughty grabbed the player of the match award for his 4 for 18 in 9.2 overs.

At the Hurlingham Club, a determined Chilean outfit threw the event wide open with a professional and deserved win over Belize. After being put in to bat, Chile got off to a slow but steady start thanks to openers Wollocombe (32 off 70 balls) and Nawaz (30 off 67 balls). At the 30 over mark Chile were 103 for 2, with Shalders and dependable wicketkeeper-batsman Guy Hooper beginning to grow in confidence.

It became a brilliant 168 run partnership, with the pair only separated with the score on 254 in the 48th over. Shalders was the dominant partner, reaching a superb century off 81 balls, en route striking 11 fours and a six. Hooper contributed an invaluable 64, compiled off 71 balls and including 4 fours and 2 sixes. Chile eventually completed their allotted 50 overs with their score on a daunting 271 for 5. Pick of the Belize bowlers were Howell Gillett with 2 for 40 in 9 overs, and Kene Broaster with 3 for 55 in 8 overs, but Belize would later rue a number of missed chances in the field as the game unfolded.

However, on a good true wicket and a fast outfield, Belize made a surging start to their run chase, racing to 65 before the fall of the first wicket in the 11th over. There was a stutter with the dismissal of opener Percival Flowers for 39 (40 balls, 4 fours), and Belize slipped to 75 for 3. The middle order brought Belize back into the hunt, but the loss of three wickets for six runs leaving them at 167 for 7 suddenly left Chile in the critical in the driving seat, especially as the seventh wicket was that of top scorer Dorian Gabb, who made an accomplished 51 off 53 balls, including 4 fours and a six.

There was a determined rearguard challenge from captain Dirk Sutherland (39 off 45 balls, 2 fours and a six) and Andrew Banner (23 off 26 balls, 1 six) who added 56 for the 8 wicket. But both batsmen departed in quick succession, and Chile wrapped up a memorable victory with the final wicket falling with the total on 245 in the 49th over, and thus victory by 26 runs.

Kamran Zeb, 2 for 21, Juan Pablo Howard, 2 for 54 and Tony Beasley, 2 for 55, all bowled well, with good support from Tim Messner and Ian Scott, and Chile had done an excellent job defending their total and recording a fine win.

In the other game on day one, at the St.Alban's Club, a combination of Turks & Caicos Islands strength and lack of Peruvian experience at this level proved decisive as the Caribbean team romped to an emphatic 8 wicket victory. After bowling out Peru, playing in their first ever ICC competition, for 83 in 42.2 overs, the Turks & Caicos Islands batsmen raced to the target in merely 16.5 overs.

Pick of the Turks & Caicos bowlers was seamer and skipper Ralph Doughty, who returned outstanding figures of 4 for 18 in 9,2 overs, with excellent support coming from Leroy King, 2 for 14 in7 overs, and Wayne Williams with 2 for 20 in 9 overs. Peru were in real trouble at 39 for 6, before there was a brief recovery in a valiant 7th wicketpartnership between Sathyamoorthy and Walter.

A modest target of 84 to win was never likely to test the naturally aggressive Turks & Caicos batsmen, and so it proved. Led by an undefeated 44 (off 57 balls, 5 fours and a six) by opening bat Michael Baptiste, the game was over as early as the 17th over. For Peru Gary Sargent bowled well to take 2 for 25.

With Chile and the Turks & Caicos Islands both winning on day one, it turns their head to head clash tomorrow at Hurlingham into an even more crucial contest, with the winner leaving themselves in pole position to push for the divisional title.

Meanwhile at St.Alban's, a competitive Brasil combination will be looking for a winning start to their campaign against a Belize team who will no doubt be intent on resurrecting their tournament with a much-needed win of their own.