Roseau (Dominica), Apr 24: Offspinner Shane Shillingford took 4-77 on his home turf on Monday as West Indies restricted Australia to 212-7 on a gripping opening day of the third and final test.
The Dominican, in only his seventh test, claimed the heart of Australia's top order to give the hosts the edge at Windsor Park.
Opener David Warner top-scored for the visitors with 50, while Shane Watson struck a composed 41.
Darren Sammy (1-32), Kemar Roach (1-43) and Ravi Rampaul (1-44) supported Shillingford well.
Australia leads 1-0 in the series and has retained the Frank Worrell trophy.
West Indies received an early fillip from Rampaul after Australia skipper Michael Clarke had won the toss and chose to bat first.
Rampaul, in the team at the expense of the injured Fidel Edwards, broke through with his second delivery and the eighth of the day, claiming Ed Cowan leg before wicket for 1 as he padded up to an inducker.
Rampaul should have reaped more reward for his new-ball burst but Warner was dropped on 5 by Sammy at third slip.
Warner and Watson gradually rebuilt the innings in a gritty second-wicket stand of 83 either side of lunch. The pair enjoyed some anxious moments against a probing West Indies attack but also emerged to play some sweet strokes.
Australia took lunch at 69-1 and enjoyed another slice of luck soon after the resumption when Kraigg Brathwaite at silly point grassed a low catch off Shillingford when Watson was on 35.
The hosts did not have to wait too long to claim the same batsman, Sammy inducing a miscued pull to deep square leg at 84-2. Watson struck three fours off 120 balls in 2½ hours.
Warner arrived at his first half-century off the series, off 133 balls, before being the first victim for Shillingford. The pugnacious left-hander struck six fours before he tried to force through the off side and scooped to cover.
Australia limped to tea at 136-3 and dipped even more dramatically after the break as Shillingford removed the veteran trio of Ricky Ponting, Clarke and Michael Hussey.
Ponting, who passed Rahul Dravid to become the second highest run-scorer in test history, fell soon afterward when he gloved a forward prod to backward short leg. Ponting hit two fours to score 23.
Clarke complied 24 off 59 deliveries before he also gloved a catch off Shillingford, this time short leg catching the offering at 157-5.
When Hussey fell similarly, brilliantly grabbed left-handed at slip by Sammy, and Ryan Harris gloved a pull off Roach to be caught down the leg side, Australia were wobbling badly at 167-7.
But Matthew Wade (22 not out) and Mitchell Starc (24 not out) added 45 unbroken before the close to resist the hosts. Wade hit three fours while Starc lashed a six.