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Guernsey share wins with Belgium on opening day

Matt Stokes drives down the field
Matt Stokes was Guernsey's best batter in their first day of games in Brussels [ICC]

Guernsey recorded a win and a loss against Belgium as they began their weekend of Twenty20 matches in Brussels.

Matt Stokes hit 63 not out off 51 balls as the Sarnians won their first game by six wickets with 11 balls to spare.

Guernsey lost by four wickets in their second match despite Zak Damarell hitting 40 off 24 balls while Stokes scored 38 and then took three wickets for 42 runs.

The islanders are preparing for August's European qualifiers for the 2026 T20 World Cup.

Belgium were held to 154-6 in the opening game as 16-year-old seamer Harry Johnson took 2-30 on his international debut.

The hosts had been 26-3 after 3.5 overs but Burhan Niaz's knock of 25 moved them on to 67-4 before he was trapped lbw by Martin-Dale Bradley.

Belgium then slipped to 77-5 but Shaheryar Butt (38) and Zakhil Saber (35no) came together to put on 59 for the sixth wicket before Johnson removed the former.

In reply, Guernsey had a tough start as Josh Butler and Tom Nightingale both made just two runs and they were 5-2 midway through the second over.

But Ben Fitchet and Stokes put on 70 for the third wicket before the former was stumped for 34 off 19 balls.

Stokes and Damerell put on 31 before Oliver Nightingale (25no) and Stokes guided Guernsey to victory at 155-4 off 18.1 overs.

Matt Stokes bowls
Matt Stokes' three wickets in quick succession gave Guernsey hope of reeling in Belgium in their second match [ICC]

Guernsey's batters impressed in their second innings as all of the top seven hit double figures.

Stokes and Damerell put on 82 for the fourth wicket before the former was caught on 38 off just 20 balls after hitting three sixes and two fours.

Damerell went with the next ball to leave Guernsey on 158-5 but they went on to make 197-9 off their 20 overs.

Belgium kept up with the run rate but were reduced to 85-3 off 6.5 overs before Niaz and Butt added 41 for the next wicket.

Niaz was caught by Damerell off Stokes to leave Belgium on 125-4 early in the 12th over before Stokes struck twice more to reduce them to 148-6 with five overs left.

However, the hosts did enough to reach their target with just four balls to spare as they made 200-6 with Sunny Mohammad Sheraz (33no) and Khalid Ahmadi (16no) putting on an unbeaten 52-run stand.