James Anderson wrecked the West Indies but England were tottering at 5-39 in their second innings, a lead of 107 runs, on the second day of the third and final Test on Saturday.
On a pitch that is rapidly deteriorating, 18 wickets fell in the three sessions, the most in a single day’s play in the 85 years of Test cricket at the venue.
After being the last wicket to fall in the tourists’ seemingly modest first innings total of 257 in the morning, the irrepressible Anderson claimed 6-42 – his 17th five-wicket innings haul – to mastermind the demolition of the home side for 189.
Only Jermaine Blackwood offered any substantial resistance with a counter-attacking innings of 85 before he was last out off Anderson, who is now just four away from becoming the first Englishman to take 400 Test wickets.
In 21 overs to the close, England slumped and will resume on the third morning with the pair of Gary Ballance (12 not out) and Ben Stokes (0 not out) at the crease.
They will seek to build a match-winning lead in pursuit of a 2-0 series triumph at a venue where the highest successful fourth-innings chase is 311 by the Brian Lara-led West Indies against Australia in 1999.
Jerome Taylor extended the miserable run of form from Jonathan Trott (9) and then consigned Ian Bell to only his second pair in Test cricket.
In between, first innings centurion Alastair Cook (4) edged Shannon Gabriel to second slip while Jason Holder accounted for Joe Root (1) in his first over as the West Indies bowlers strove to keep their team in contention.
In the penultimate over of the day, Moeen Ali (8) played on to specialist spinner Veerasammy Permaul.
It was Taylor who had started the ball rolling by polishing off the England first innings for the addition of another 17 runs in the morning.
He made up for a wicketless first day by taking all three, including the last two off consecutive deliveries.
Then it was the turn of England’s most successful wicket-taker in Tests to steal the spotlight, dispensing with both openers before adding the important scalp of second Test centurion Marlon Samuels (9) in an outstanding opening spell of bowling before lunch.
Anderson’s second ball of the innings was a perfect outswinger that peeled off Kraigg Brathwaite’s bat for Chris Jordan to take the catch at second slip before he had scored.
In his first Test innings, Shai Hope (5) was unable to cope with the wiles of Anderson, edging low to Cook at first slip.
England lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the second Test in Grenada by nine wickets while the opening game in Antigua was drawn.