Windies duo destroy Black Caps
Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard powered the West Indies to a 56-run victory in the first of the two T20s against New Zealand in Florida.
Man of the match Gayle clubbed an unbeaten 85 off 52 balls while Pollard was similarly destructive with 63 not out off 29 deliveries as the West Indies made 209 for two off their 20 overs.
The duo shared in an unbroken stand of 108 off just 43 balls to help the West Indies, who failed to win a match in any format on their recent tour to England, record their highest ever T20 international score.
New Zealand could then only make 153 in reply, with captain Ross Taylor retiring hurt after making 10 and Ronnie Hura unable to bat through injury.
Spinner Sunil Narine took three for 34 as New Zealand were dismissed with nine balls remaining.
The Blacks Caps won the toss and opted to send their opponents in, and that decision immediately began to look questionable as Windies opener Dwayne Smith hit Nathan McCullum for two sixes in the first over.
Gayle was circumspect at the start of his innings, being outscored by both Smith (17) and Johnson Charles early on.
However, the left-hander gradually begin to flex his muscles and he hit his first six of the match in the 13th over off Rob Nicol.
It was not until the arrival of Pollard that Gayle really started motoring, though, with both players blasting the New Zealand attack to all parts in a devastating stand.
Pollard came to the crease after Charles (24) was dismissed off the first ball of the 14th over and the giant all-rounder wasted no time in making his presence felt.
He smashed his first and third deliveries for six, and then struck another maximum in the next over off Nicol.
The boundaries continued to flow from both batsman in the closing overs and in the end Pollard finished with five sixes and five fours, while Gayle contributed five sixes and seven fours as the Windies passed their previous best T20 international score of 208 for eight against England in 2007.
New Zealand made a promising start to their run chase as Nicol and Martin Guptill put on 38 for the first wicket at almost 10 an over.
They could not keep up that scoring rate though and, despite Nicol (32), Jacob Oram (27) and Tim Southee (23) making decent contributions, they fell well short in the end, not helped by the loss of Taylor or the absence of Hira due to injuries they picked up while fielding.
The second T20 international takes place later on Sunday.