Australia are facing a major fight to save the first Test against the West Indies after a poor third day's display in Barbados today.
At stumps the tourists are struggling at 5-248 still 201 runs behind on the first innings as the resurgent Windies took control of the Test with Michael Hussey finishing unbeaten on 47 alongside debutant Matthew Wade, who was not out on 19.
Not even a patient 73 by captain Michael Clarke could salvage the day for Australia, especially after his self-inflicted dismissal in the final session.
The skipper was caught after he skied a top-edge off young West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (1-77) following an 82-run stand with Hussey that at least eased fears of Australia being made to follow-on.
That prospect seemed a far more realistic possibility when the duo came together at 4-133 following Shane Watson's (39) dismissal off the second ball after lunch.
Clarke himself had been fortunate to reach that break after he successfully challenged a caught behind decision off Bishoo when there appeared little video evidence to support him.
Clarke's reprieve came after Ed Cowan (14), David Warner (42) and Ricky Ponting (4) had all fallen in the morning session.
Cowan and Warner both fell to impressive Windies skipper Darren Sammy (2-33), who drew the openers into outside edges with his nagging length.
But it was Ponting's demise, stranded after a horrendous mix-up with Watson to be run out for four following some sharp fielding by Kraigg Brathwaite, which was the lowlight of a disappointing day.
Watson turned and sprinted for a tight second run, surprising a relaxed Ponting who had settled for a single at the striker's end.
The former captain's surprise turned to fury as he was caught short in the confusion while Watson slumped to his haunches in despair.
Australia will need to find a way to avoid such mistakes again when play resumes on day four at 9.30am (2330 Tuesday AEST).