Belize off to a flying start at Division 3
ICC media release
Brilliant sunny skies greeted the six nations competing in the ICC Americas Division 3 T20 Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica. The host country provided excellent facilities at the Los Reyes Polo Club with two fields side by side where morning and afternoon games are planned throughout the week.
In today's morning session host country Costa Rica, won the toss against tournament co favourites Chile and elected to bat. It was a bold decision considering wind gusts were in excess of 60 KMH. Lead by their skipper Julian Oliver (50) who was well supported by Ben Smith (25) and Tim Baker (21), the host country posted a respectable target of 123/7 in their 20 overs. The early wicket of Simon Shalders' raised the possibility of an upset but a second wicket partnership of 108 between Man of the Match John Fecci (63) and Russell Perryman (45) secured the victory for the Chileans. Victory by 5 wickets came with only two balls to spare as the host served a warning that they are not a team to be taken for granted.
In the other morning game Belize won a four wicket victory over Peru in a lacklustre affair. Batting first the Peruvians could only manage 64/9 in their 20 overs. Howell Gillett took 4/15 including a hat trick to claim the Man of the Match award. In their reply, Belize passed their target in a less than an impressive manner losing six wickets in the process mainly due to poor shot selection.
Belize rebounded in the afternoon against the Falkland Islands with an impressive batting display, scoring 182/5 in their 20 overs. The target was well beyond the ability of the Islanders as Belize posted their second victory of the day by a comfortable margin of 132 runs. Leading the batting attack was Warren Anthony with 50 not out, Conway Young with 48 and Percival Flowers 30 also contributed to the massive total. In reply the Falkland Island's batting crumbled to bowling of Mykelt Anthony who took five wickets for four runs and was crowned Man of the Match for his efforts.
In the second game of the afternoon session, the two South American rivals locked horns as Chile took on Peru. After winning the toss and electing to bat only opening batsman Mike Soulsby (50) showed any resistance to the Chilean bowlers and the team were all out for 88. With this small target it would appear Chile would keep pace with Belize as the tournament leaders, but Peru had other ideas. The Chilean wickets began to tumble and they never stopped with Peru coming out on top by 40 runs. It was the first upset of the tournament and a brilliant job by Peru to defend such a small target. Anthony Sanford 3/8 and Dinesh Ekanayake 3/9 destroyed the Chilean batting order.
Games tomorrow will see Mexico in action for the first time playing the Falkland Islanders in the morning session and then returning to play Chile in the afternoon. The third match of the day has the host Costa Rica looking for their first victory against the Falkland Islands.