Auckland:The West Indies and New Zealand made Twenty20 history on Friday, with the Caribbean side winning the format's first one-over tiebreaker after the sides were tied after 20 overs.
Captain Chris Gayle smashed 67 from 41 balls to guide his team to 155-8 in reply to New Zealand's 155-7 to set up the tie.
Gayle then hit three sixes among 25 runs as the West Indies outscored New Zealand in the one-over playoff, giving the tourists a 1-0 lead in the two-match series which concludes at Hamilton on Sunday.
The West Indies and New Zealand were the first teams to play a tie in a Twenty20 international, at the same venue, Eden Park, two years ago. That match was the first in cricket history to be decided by a bowl-off.
Friday's match added a new footnote to Twenty20 history, as the first match decided by a one-over playoff.
Ross Taylor top-scored with 63 and Scott Styris made 21 as New Zealand reached a moderate total after winning the toss.
The West Indies were well on target to overtake that score when Gayle, whose innings included five fours and five sixes, sharing a 63-run second-wicket partnership with Xavier Marshall. But after reaching 82-2 in the 10th over and 114-4 when Gayle was out in the 15th over - well ahead of the necessary run rate - the West Indies lost their way and were unable to surpass New Zealand's total.
Spinners Daniel Vettori (3-16) and Jeetan Patel put the brakes on the tourists' scoring and left the West Indies needing 16 runs from their last two overs and then seven from the last to win the match.
Young fast bowler Tim Southee took a wicket with the first ball of the final over and forced a run out on the fourth, but Jerome Taylor edged a boundary and took a single off the last two balls to leave the scores tied.
The teams were then required to nominate three batsmen and a bowler to play out a one-over match designed to break the tie.
The West Indies chose Gayle, Marshall and Shivnarine Chanderpaul to bat and the tall spinner Sulieman Benn to bowl. New Zealand chose Jacob Oram, Taylor and Brendon McCullum to bat and Vettori to bowl.
Vettori was unable to curb Gayle's hitting in the playoff. The West Indies captain smashed sixes from the first, third and fourth balls then ended with a four and a two, after an earlier runout, to take 25 from six balls.
Oram smashed six from the first ball he faced, then ran two byes, but was out to the third ball of the New Zealand over. McCullum hit six off the next ball and was out to the fifth ball, ending the game.
"It's the second time I've played a Twenty20 game against New Zealand here and the second time it's ended in a tie. At least this time we came out on top," Gayle said.
"It was good. Both teams enjoyed it, though I'm glad we won."