Debutant Shamar Joseph gave the West Indies hope by capturing two top-order wickets during Australia’s reply to the visitors’ first innings score of 188 in the inaugural Test in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Australia were 59-2 at stumps, with Usman Khawaja not out for 30 and Cameron Green on six.
Australia trailed by just 129 runs, but important batsmen Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne had returned to the pavilion.
Earlier, Australian captain Pat Cummins won the toss and ordered the West Indies into bat on a cold and cloudy morning, a move that paid off when the visitors were reduced to 133-9.
But Joseph, playing just his sixth first-class match, kept the score respectable with a breezy 36 off 41 balls.
The best was still to come for the 24-year-old, who came in as the first change and caught Smith at third slip with his maiden delivery in Test cricket.
He then tempted Labuschagne into a hook shot that went right to Gudakesh Motie at deep fine leg, leaving Australia 45-2.
That might have been much better if wicketkeeper Josh Da Silva had not dropped Khawaja on one, a catch he should have made.
Earlier, Josh Hazlewood claimed 4-44, including his 250th Test wicket, and Cummins 4-41 as Australia swept through the West Indies batting order.
Australia made just one change from the lineup that defeated Pakistan 3-0 earlier this summer.
Smith replaced the retiring David Warner at the top of the Australian batting order, while Green returned to number four.
The West Indies had a different tale, with Joseph, Kavem Hodge, and Justin Greaves making their debuts.
Windies skittled out
West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul started slowly, aiming to leave as many balls as possible.
Cummins came on in the tenth over and had an instant impact, coaxing Chanderpaul into a wide drive, only to slice the ball to gully, where Green used all of his height to grab a simple catch.
Cummins next removed Brathwaite with a magnificent delivery that slanted in, straightened, and took the top of off stump, leaving the West Indies 27-2 after the first hour.
Alick Athanaze and Kirk McKenzie then steadied the ship and attempted to send the West Indies to lunch at two down, but with the score at 52, Athanaze chose to leave a Hazlewood delivery, only to have the ball explode into his off stump.
It was Hazlewood’s 250th wicket in Test cricket, bringing the four major bowlers in Australia’s attack to that milestone: Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Cummins, and Nathan Lyon.
Hazlewood proceeded after lunch, taking the wickets of Hodge (12), McKenzie (50), and Greaves (5) to leave the West Indies on 108-6.
Cummins grabbed Da Silva at deep square leg for six, bringing the total to 132-7, before losing Motie and Alzarri Joseph in the same run.
But Shamar Joseph saved the situation, showing no fear as he achieved his greatest first-class score, with Kemar Roach providing good assistance.
The West Indies needed to make an early breakthrough, and Smith’s crucial wicket helped them overcome the sadness of losing Khawaja.
When Labuschagne fell, Australian nerves jangled, but Khawaja and Green got the home side through to stumps.