Birmingham, Jun 9: West Indies were wobbling on 164-5 against England at tea on day three of the third test at Edgbaston, after losing four wickets during an extended Saturday afternoon session.
Marlon Samuels was unbeaten on 50, from 76 balls with a six and six fours, while Denesh Ramdin was 1 not out, after West Indies reached a relatively healthy 85-1 at lunch.
Adrain Barath, who was dropped by Ian Bell on 4 and 40, was the next highest scorer with 41.
Graham Onions took 2-32 and Tim Bresnan 2-44, after England won the toss and opted to bowl.
West Indies made four changes to the side that lost the second test and series at Trent Bridge.
Star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was ruled out with a side strain, his place taken by Narsingh Deonarine.
Assad Fudadin and Sunil Narine made their test debuts, replacing Fidel Edwards and Shane Shillingford, while Tino Best came in for Kemar Roach.
England made two changes, with Stuart Broad surprisingly joining James Anderson on the sidelines and Steven Finn and Onions starting.
If Anderson's exclusion was expected, the decision to also rest Broad appeared to come as a surprise to the bowler, who was seen having an animated discussion with coach Andy Flower before the start of play.
Captain Andrew Strauss said Broad had "a bit of a cold" but admitted he would have been fit to play if selected.
Groundstaff at Edgbaston worked for two days and nights to ensure play was possible, and in overcast and blustery conditions West Indies made a nervous start.
The score was 14-0 when Barath edged Onions to third slip, where Bell dropped a simple chance.
Barath scampered through for a single but four consecutive maidens followed before Onions, having switched ends, was denied another wicket when umpire Tony Hill turned down an lbw shout against Barath.
Replays showed the ball would have clipped the top of the stumps, but not by enough to uphold England's referral.
The openers survived for 78 minutes before Powell fell to Bresnan, edging him to second slip where Swann just held the ball between his thumb and index finger.
However, Barath then smashed Swann's fifth ball for six over long on and Fudadin made a confident start as conditions began to improve before lunch.
Barath should have been out in the second over of the afternoon session but when he nicked Finn to second slip Bell again missed a regulation chance.
However, he added just one run before he was lbw to Onions. Barath referred Hill's call and replays again upheld the decision, this time showing the ball would have clipped leg stump.
Finn bowled with consistent hostility and pace and he got the wicket he deserved when he took a return catch from Darren Bravo (6).
Fudadin at one point went 28 balls without scoring before he fell for 28 trying to fend off a short ball from Bresnan and gloving a looping chance that Bell this time managed to hold.
Onions -- playing in his first test in over two years after recovering from a serious back injury -- put England in charge when he removed Deonarine in the 63rd over, caught by Strauss at first slip.
However, Samuels regained some of the momentum when he brought up his 50 with a six and a four off successive balls from Swann just before tea.