West Indies kept the pressure on Australia on day three of the first Test in Bridgetown, Barbados on Monday with the tourists restricted at the close to 248 for five in 95 overs.
Skipper Michael Clarke (73) was the backbone of the Australian batting as they laboured in reply to West Indies' 449 for nine declared.
Resuming on their overnight total of 44-0, Australia suffered an early setback when West Indies skipper Darren Sammy struck twice to remove both openers.
Sammy's nagging line outside off stump finally teased Ed Cowan (14) into an edge to wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh and then Sammy struck again with a similar delivery to Dave Warner (42) who found Darren Bravo at second slip.
The home team certainly smelt blood when former Australia captain Ricky Ponting was run out for four when Shane Watson hesitated while calling his partner for a second and left Ponting stranded.
At 84 for three, Australia needed to get their heads down and Watson and Clarke ground out 49 runs in 18.2 overs before lunch.
That set a possible foundation for the experienced pairing but Watson needlessly chased the second ball from Kemar Roach after lunch, gifting Baugh another catch as he departed for 39.
Sammy was disappointed when Clarke, on 27, was given out caught behind off Devendra Bishoo but had the decision overturned on a review showing little of a conclusive nature.
Clarke took advantage of the reprieve and put on a patient 82-run partnership with Mike Hussey for the fifth wicket but the hard work was undone when the Clarke unwisely tried to go over the top against Bishoo and found Narsingh Deonarine in the deep.
It was needless shot and although Hussey (47 not out) and Matthew Wade (19 not out) saw it through to the close, when umpires ruled there was bad light, Australia have plenty of work to do on the fourth day.
Scoreboard (at the close of play, Day 3)
West Indies innings
A Barath c Siddle b Harris 22
K Brathwaite c Wade b Siddle 57
K Edwards c and b Warner 61
D Bravo c Hussey b Watson 51
S Chanderpaul not out 103
N Deonarine c Wade b Harris 21
C Baugh run out 22
D Sammy c Cowan b Hilfenhaus 41
K Roach c Clarke b Lyon 16
F Edwards c Hussey b Warner 10
D Bishoo not out 18
Extras (b-12, lb-9, w-4, nb-2) 27
Total (153 overs) 449 for 9, declared
Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-142, 3-167, 4-240, 5-285, 6-316, 7-369, 8-402, 9-421.
Bowling: R Harris 29-8-83-2, B Hilfenhaus 33-12-67-1 (nb-1), P.Siddle 31-10-83-1 (nb-1, w-2), N.Lyon 31-11-94-1, M Clarke 2-0-4-0, S Watson 15-5-46-1, D Warner 10-0-45-2, M Hussey 2-0-6-0.
E Cowan c Baugh b Sammy 14
D Warner c Bravo b Sammy 42
S Watson c Baugh b Roach 39
R Ponting tun out 4
M Clarke c Deonarine b Bishoo 73
M Hussey not out 47
M Wade not out 19
Extras (lb-8, nb-2) 10
Total (95 overs) 248 for 5
Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-65, 3-84, 4-133, 5-215
Bowling: F Edwards 15-2-41-0 (nb-1), K Roach 17-2-56-1, D Bishoo 30-7-77-1 (nb-1), D Sammy 15-5-33-2, N Deonarine 18-5-33-0.