England were on course for only their second victory of the winter, in their 15th international match, after debutant Stephen Parry helped to bowl West Indies out for 159.
The loss of two wickets for one run made the tourists' task that much harder, on an awkward strip being used for the second time in three days at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
But they were still well-placed on 55 for two after 15 overs of their reply as they seek to level this one-day series at 1-1 with one to play.
Moeen Ali picked out deep square-leg with an aerial pull at Dwayne Bravo, and Luke Wright missed three successive balls from Sunil Narine - the last of which, a doosra, bowled him off-stump for a duck.
Danger man Narine had only five overs of his entitlement left, however - and if England could keep him at bay, this match was surely theirs to lose.
For West Indies, Lendl Simmons (70) had hit his second successive half-century and shared 50 stands for the fourth and fifth wickets.
But after he was sixth out, the second of six wickets for 26 runs, no one could deliver a big finish for the Windies - as Bravo and Darren Sammy did in the series opener.
England used eight different bowlers after Stuart Broad surprisingly chose to put the hosts in again.
None was deployed to better effect than Parry (three for 32), the only one to bowl his full 10 overs, but it was England's part-time spinners who once more put West Indies in early trouble.
As on Friday, Joe Root fared well with the new ball - and for good measure this time, first-change Moeen also prospered.
Root, operating exclusively round the wicket, had Dwayne Smith chipping a catch straight into his most obvious trap - the man stationed at short midwicket.
Kirk Edwards was dropped at leg-slip on nought second ball, by Tim Bresnan, but was to fall to Root anyway for single-figures when he edged to slip, where James Tredwell took a very good one-handed catch away to his right.
That was a second wicket in three balls, because at the other end opener Kieran Powell had chipped a return catch back to Moeen - also from round the wicket - and the hosts stumbled to 30 for three.
There was also bounce and sideways movement off the pitch for Broad, who nonetheless restricted himself to just two initial overs.
England had two frontline spin options here, Tredwell and Parry.
But it was not until Tredwell bowled the 11th over, a maiden to Darren Bravo, that Broad called on his specialists.
West Indies' first Bravo never got out of first gear, apart from a six over long-on off Tredwell, before he chopped the returning Broad on to his stumps.
But Dwayne was threatening another rearguard, only to be given out controversially - much to the obvious chagrin of West Indies coach Ottis Gibson, judged on his reaction on the players' balcony.
It appeared Jos Buttler had fumbled a straightforward stumping chance down the leg side off Tredwell, but third umpire Marais Erasmus saw enough evidence to suggest the ball brushed the stumps - with Bravo well out of his ground - before the wicketkeeper also broke them with his gloves.
In powerplay, Parry's maiden international wicket was a big one.
It was skilfully achieved too, Simmons having just hit the slow left-armer for a huge six over midwicket and then trying a repeat dose next ball - a flatter delivery - but caught well inside the rope.
Denesh Ramdin played on to Bresnan, and then Parry had Sammy pulling to the juggling Broad at midwicket and Narine authentically stumped.
Ravi Rampaul holed out off Tredwell at long-on, to be last out with almost six overs unused.