The eight team Cricket World Cup Challenge League play-off began today in Malaysia. Four teams have come down from the last cycle of the Challenge League, namely Bermuda, Italy, hosts Malaysia and Vanuatu, with four teams qualifying from the ICC's T20I rankings, subject to them meeting certain criteria, and those are Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania.

The eight teams are divided into two groups of four, with the top three in each group qualifying for the Super Six stage, with the top four from that stage qualifying for the next cycle of the Challenge League.

The hosts weren't in action today, and nor were Tanzania. Italy, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia all won against Bermuda, Vanuatu and Kuwait respectively.

Bermuda captain Delray Rawlins won the toss at the Selangor Turf Club and asked Italy to bat first in the Group A contest. An 83 run opening partnership between Nicholas Maiolo and Marcus Campopiano got the innings off to a great start, and it was followed by Campopiano and Anthony Mosca adding 116 for the second wicket.

Campopiano eventually fell for 101 - his first century in List A cricket - whilst Mosca fell just of a century on 95. Kamau Leverock took five wickets for Bermuda for 58 runs as Italy reached 305-8 from their 50 overs.

Terryn Fray scored 73 in Bermuda's reply, but the next highest score was 28 by Chris Douglas - who retired hurt - with only four batters reaching double figures. Rakibul Hasan was the pick of the Italian bowlers with 3-35 as Bermuda were bowled out for 148, losing by 157 runs.

Over at the YSD-UKM oval in Bangi, Vanuatu captain Josh Rasu won the toss and also chose to bowl first against Bahrain in the only Group B match of the day. Haider Butt fell just short of a century on List A debut as he top scored with 98 in Bahrain's total of 266-7. Nalin Nipiko was the pick of the bowlers with 5-43.

A few Vanuatu batters got starts in their reply but nobody went on to make a big score. From 95-3 in the 31st over they collapsed to 126-8 in the 43rd over. Andrew Mansale had a late cameo at number 10, scoring 32 from 30 balls, but by then it was too late and they were bowled out for 157, losing by 109 runs.

At the Bayuemas Oval, Kuwait captain Mohammed Aslam - like his counterparts - chose to bowl first against Saudi Arabia after winning the toss in another Group A match. Kashif Siddique top scored with 71 with Abdul Waheed and Hisham Sheikh both scoring 40 in the Saudi Arabian total of 231.

The Kuwaiti skipper had the only score of note in their reply, an unbeaten 57 out of a total of 134, the Saudis winning by 97 runs. Usman Najeeb was the leading wicket-taker with 3-23.

Tomorrow will see two matches in Group B as Tanzania play Vanuatu and hosts Malaysia take on Bahrain. In Group A, Italy come up against Saudi Arabia.