Bridgetown - South Africa paceman Dale Steyn grabbed three wickets at the start of West Indies' second innings Monday to leave the host in trouble at tea on day three of the third and final test at Kensington Oval.
West Indies, trailing by 115 after the first innings, ended the second session on 70-3, with Steyn having taken the scalps of Chris Gayle (10), Dale Richards (17) and Narsingh Deonarine (0) to leave the fast bowler with figures of 3-23.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (30 not out) and fellow left-hander Brendan Nash (12 not out) led a mini-recovery after the early collapse of the top order but the home side was still 45 runs behind.
Richards hit four boundaries before he tried to pull Steyn and skewed a cramped stroke to midwicket, where Alviro Petersen held a fine catch running back.
It was 27-2 following the next delivery when Deonarine played an expansive drive and lofted to short cover for Ashwell Prince to take the catch.
Captain Gayle followed four overs later as he feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.
Chanderpaul was holding West Indies together, having struck three fours off 71 balls. He and Nash shared an unbroken stand of 34.
South Africa had earlier carried its overnight score of 285-6 to 346 all out, with Prince finishing unbeaten on 78.
Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn claimed a career-best 6-81, including the final wicket of Morne Morkel (9) just after lunch. By that time, he had already taken the wicket of Johan Botha (9), with Boucher (17) and Steyn (4) the other men to fall in the morning session.
Benn was also involved in a heated verbal exchange with Steyn during the South African's brief innings. Steyn spat on the ground near Benn after being dismissed and both players are likely to face sanctions from Match Referee Jeff Crowe.