Auckland: New Zealand defeated the West Indies by five wickets in a rain-affected first Twenty20 international at Auckland’s Eden Park on Friday.
The Black Caps finished on 179-5 after being set a target of 176 in a match where the innings were reduced to 16 overs because of persistent showers.
New Zealand bowler Lockie Ferguson was Match of the Match after claiming a career-best haul of 5-21.
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was the stand-out performer for the tourists with an unbeaten 75 from 37 balls.
After losing the toss and being put into bat, the West Indies finished on 175 for seven in an innings. The tourists made a flying start before Ferguson sparked a dramatic collapse, with the speedster finishing on career-best figures of five for 21.
Pollard responded with his own best performance in T20 internationals with a half-century that included eight sixes and four fours.
Before play commenced, both sides took a knee in a gesture against racism, with the West Indies players each raising a black-gloved fist. West Indies opener Andre Fletcher smashed back-to-back sixes off debutant Kyle Jamieson, who conceded 18 from his first over in international T20.
The tourists were even more brutal against Hamish Bennett, plundering 29 runs from a nightmare over for the fast bowler that included two no balls and a wide.
The tourists were 58 without loss before Ferguson broke through and clean bowled Fletcher on 34.
The tourists then lost five wickets for a single run over the course of 11 balls, with Ferguson claiming three scalps and Southee two.
Pollard rebuilt the West Indies’ innings virtually single-handedly, clubbing 23 off Jimmy Neesham’s opening over, including three sixes.
The next fixture in the three-match series is in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Brief Scores: West Indies 175 for seven wickets off 16 overs (K.Pollard 75 not out, A. Fletcher 34; L. Ferguson 5/21) vs New Zealand 179/5 off 15.2 overs (J. Neeshan 48 not out, D.Conway 41, M. Santner 31 not out). New Zealand won by five wickets.