Paceman Mitchell Starc opened the door with a fortunate LBW call and the Aussies “pounced”, rolling the West Indies for 283 late on day three of the first Test in Perth.
On a day where Pat Cummins made history, the visitors were unable to stop Australia taking control on Thursday.
They remain 344 runs behind heading into day four after Cummins decided not to enforce the follow-on.
The match turned for Australia when Starc had Jermaine Blackwood trapped in front, as replays showed the ball just touching the stumps – leaving the decision as an umpire’s call.
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Given Blackwood was the one to challenge, he had no choice but to go – and with it went the West Indies’ hopes of a big first innings total.
The visitors collapsed after tea, losing 6-38 including Blackwood and then Joshua Da Silva for a duck nine balls later.
“That’s a terrible shot,” Fox Cricket’s Mark Waugh said of Da Silva’s dismissal.
“Trying to hit on the up, an expansive drive like that – it’s just not going to happen.
“For a number seven, that’s a really poor shot.”
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Medial sub Shamarh Brookes, who came out at five after Nkrumah Bonner retired hurt, showed plenty of grit in his 33 but his wicket took the last of the fight.
Earlier on Thursday there were concerns for Bonner when he was struck on the back of the helmet by a Cameron Green short ball.
Bonner appeared to lose track of the ball and ducked straight into the delivery.
Despite gallantly batting on for almost 30 minutes, the West Indian reported dizziness and was retired hurt before the decision was made to bring Brookes into the game as the sub.
Starc and skipper Cummins both finished with three wickets – with Cummins recording his 200th Test milestone on day three.
Cummins cemented himself as one of all-time greats after he clean bowled West Indian captain Kraigg Braithwaite (64) in a delivery eerily similar to his dismissal of England captain Joe Root in the recent Ashes.
“Beautifully bowled, top of off stump – it does not get any better than that,” Fox Cricket’s Brendan Julian praise.
“He didn’t do much wrong there Braithwaite,” Waugh added.
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The Braithwaite wicket was Cummins’ 200th – as he now sits behind only Glenn McGrath for the best Test average for an Australian with 200 wickets or more at 21.69.
The Aussies will now start day four at 1-29 as David Warner (17) and Marnus Labuschagne (3) managed a difficult 20-minute period until stumps.
Usman Khawaja was the unlucky wicket to fall late on day three, as he was caught behind off Kemar Roach for just 6.
Remarkably, it is the first time since partnering with Warner at the top of the order that Khawaja was the first wicket to fall.
Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
West Indies XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva, Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales