Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard were at their brutal best, clouting 10 sixes between them, as the West Indies thumped New Zealand by 56 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Lauderhill on Saturday.

The lead-up to the match was lined with promising rhetoric from the Windies, who were eager to please a Florida crowd not blessed with regular international cricket.

They didn't disappoint as Gayle and Pollard delivered the entertainment with the bat before a superb all-round performance in the field capped a thorough triumph.

The Black Caps, meanwhile, endured a day to forget. Losing captain Ross Taylor to a shoulder injury and spinner Ronnie Hira to a dislocated finger, they were also left to sweat on the fitness of Jacob Oram, who jarred his knee while fielding.

New Zealand played two T20Is against Sri Lanka at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in 2010, when slow bowling and seaming off-cutters were successful on a rather slow pitch.

Saturday, though, brought a much more fluid deck - and the Kiwis' seven-man attack, including four spinners, were made to pay after Taylor won the toss and opted to bowl first.

Dwayne Smith started the theatrics, banging a couple of sixes before being castled by Doug Bracewell. Johnson Charles tried to pick up where Smith left off, but never really got going - and was perhaps overawed by the occasion.

Not Gayle nor Pollard, though. The men for every occasion, including token T20Is in America, the big-hitting left- and right-hander tucked into a truly theatrical display.

Their unbeaten 108-run alliance rocketed through just 6.5 overs. There was no hiding for the New Zealanders.

Gayle was uncharacteristically slow in reaching his half-century, needing all of 42 balls to do so, but his next 35 runs required just 10, with the former captain ending on 85 not out from 52 deliveries. He took a particular liking to the fodder coughed up by Bracewell, who traveled for three sixes in a row in an over that brought 26 runs in total.

Pollard didn't need the cautious foundation required by Gayle. The right-hander instead struck his first delivery for six, and later heaved four more over the fence en route to 63 not out from a mere 29 deliveries.

New Zealand were afforded chances, yes, but didn't hang onto any of them. Hira and Taylor's injuries were both sustained while trying to take sharp catches in the deep as the Windies romped to a formidable total of 209 for two.

The Kiwis' reply was arguably more lame than their bowling.

Rob Nicol's poise at the top of the knock was as good as it got, while a string of stop-start knocks riddled the rest of the order. Each of the top seven reached double figures, but not one made it further than Nicol's 32. Taylor only exasperated his crocked left shoulder before retiring hurt, while Hira didn't bat at all.

Samuel Badree didn't strike on debut, but fellow spinner Sunil Narine clinched fine figures of three for 34. Leg-spinner Badree, lessons learnt in the series opener, will surely come back stronger in the second match.

Direct-hits to run out Tom Latham and Dean Brownlie exemplified the Windies' outstanding day in the field, while Dwayne Bravo's exaggerated dive in catching Oram at long-off was the final nail in the Black Caps' coffin in a very insufficient total of 153 all out.

The second and final match gets underway at the same venue on Sunday, after which the teams will head to the Caribbean for five ODIs and two Tests.