WCL Division 4 qualifiers Italy started its tournament with a positive seven wicket victory over fellow European side Denmark at the picturesque Hong Kong Cricket Club (HKCC).

Alessandro Bonora's side limited Denmark to 227 in its 50 overs albeit after some decent batting by the Danish including a half-century from Rizwan Mahmood. However, Dilan Fernando had other intentions for the opposition with the Italian dismissing the key middle-order batsmen Naveed Mughal, Martin Pedersen and Jacob Larson.

As the second innings commenced and the sun slowly began to break through the clouds, Italy's top order began to knock-off the runs required at a steady rate. Openers Andy Northcote and Damien Fernando combined to make 87 runs before Damien Fernando departed for 45.

It was unfortunate start to the tournament for Bonora, who had a disappointing time with the bat in Division 4, with the Italian being dismissed for just seven runs today after being run out by Carsten Pedersen.

It was then up to Peter Petricola and Damien Crowley to finish the match off with both batsmen scoring half-centuries to guide Italy to an opening day victory.

Man of the match Petricola said, 'It's obviously great to win on the opening day of the event and carry on the good form I had in Italy last summer.

'We were a little bit scratchy to begin with but we stepped up to the plate with a few good performances to get us over the line but today was by no means a complete performance by us.

'The Danes are a solid side and are very competitive while also playing with good spirit. They definitely challenged us as a side. They were good but at the end of the day we gave a good enough performance to walk away with the important winning points on day one.'

Tomorrow will see Oman play Hong Kong at KCC, Italy face PNG at HKCC while USA take on Denmark at Mission Road.