Marlon Samuels powered West Indies to 170 for three on a very good Kensington Oval pitch in the first Twenty20 international against England.

Samuels (69 not out) took late advantage of being dropped by James Tredwell on 43, the off-spinner therefore spoiling much of his earlier good work with the ball.

Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith gave the hosts an ideal platform in an opening stand of 57 - but Tredwell's canny spell and Ravi Bopara's medium-pace stopped West Indies kicking on towards 200, after winning the toss.

The home innings got off to a memorable, and ominous, start when Smith pulled Stuart Broad's very first ball on to the roof of the Greenidge & Haynes stand.

There were three fours too in an opening over which cost 19, including a no-ball.

Jade Dernbach fared much better initially, finding early swing and beating Gayle with a beauty which almost bowled him for a second-ball duck.

Gayle appeared out of sorts, mustering just three runs from his first 11 balls, until he carved three fours in four deliveries off the previously accurate Tim Bresnan.

It was Gayle who then brought up the 50 in the sixth over with a mighty six over long on off Ben Stokes, before Bopara broke the stand when he hit the top of off-stump as Smith tried to shovel to leg.

Gayle remained a grave danger to England until, having conceded one big six to him, Tredwell had him lbw on the back foot.

After the off-spinner bowled 15 dot balls, and Bopara had a second wicket - Lendl Simmons caught at long on - England were restricting the hosts admirably.

Tredwell then dropped a searing chance at cover to reprieve Samuels - after which the number three hit five successive fours off the unfortunate bowler, Dernbach.

But the Surrey seamer recovered to concede only five runs in a skilful final over and help to give England even prospects of an opening victory in this three-match series, despite Samuels' 10 fours and a six from 46 balls.