The three-match series kicked off under damp conditions at Raemaru Park on Saturday but some big hits and misses kept the faithful cricket fans entertained during the 50-over bash.
Despite the best effort from Country which restricted Town to 120 runs in the opening innings, the side was unable to run away with a win af-ter its batting order crumbled to a powerful and clever bowling from the latter.
A defiant Town managed to walk away with a meagre 27-run win.
Country started well with bowler Denne Bourke picking a double wicket maiden to send Town’s opening bowlers Melody Melota and Wayken Punga packing with zero runs.
Town managed to stabilise their run rate with some excellent fours and sixes from Iro Maroroa, who scored 43 runs, before getting caught in an lbw from Ali Webb.
Parker Daniel finished with the second highest run for Town, amassing 27 runs before his side was all out for 120 runs in 37 overs.
Country, which missed four key players due to food poisoning, headed into their innings with a sense of victory in their minds. But their good start, spearheaded by late inclusion Pare Rongokea who started the team’s run chase with Glen Miller, fell short after some impressive bowling from Town’s Moni Uini and Kanute Ritawa, who collected four and three wickets, respectively.
Country was disappointing and were all out for 96 runs.
“It was a great start to the series. We are happy with the win and we can’t wait for the second leg of the series,” an elated Town captain Punga said.
“The message to the boys before the second inning was simple. We wanted to go out there and do some top bowling and fielding to win this opening match.”
Cook Islands Cricket chief executive officer Davis Teinaki said despite the weather, the series had got off to a good start.
The second match of the series will be held on June 18 with the final battle scheduled for June 25.