England's batting crumbled as they were bowled out for 155 to lose to West Indies by 21 runs in their Twenty20 international at Chester-le-Street.
Chasing 177, England looked well set at 64-1 and 118-4 but lost wickets at key times as captain Carlos Brathwaite claimed 3-20.
Chris Gayle made 40 off 21 balls and Evin Lewis 51 off 28 for West Indies, sharing a rapid opening stand of 77.
England pegged West Indies back from 106-1, with Adil Rashid taking 3-25.
That gave England the edge at the halfway stage and their hopes improved further when opener Alex Hales began the reply with a blistering 17-ball 43.
But captain Brathwaite bowled Hales at the end of the sixth over on the way to figures of 3-20.
It was the first T20 meeting between the sides since a Brathwaite-inspired West Indies won the World Twenty20 final in 2016.
The match is the sole T20 before a five-match one-day series begins at Old Trafford on Tuesday.