Ian Bell was dismissed three runs short of a seventh test century as England were dismissed for 370 before lunch on the second day of the third test against West Indies at Old Trafford on Friday.
At lunch West Indies were 17 for one after stand-in captain Daren Ganga was lbw to Steve Harmison for five.
England, 1-0 up in the four-match series, added 76 valuable runs in the morning session after resuming on 296 for seven.
Bell's 97 was another impressive effort on the ground where he scored 59 and 65 against Australia in 2005 and an unbeaten 106 last year against Pakistan. If he had reached three figures it would have been his fifth century batting at number six.
Bell, who faced 191 balls, took his overnight partnership with Harmison to 39 before the tail-ender gloved another short and spiteful Fidel Edwards delivery to the wicketkeeper.
Harmison, who scored 18, suffered a second blow on his head during the innings but did not require medical treatment and seemed untroubled.
Ryan Sidebottom scored 15 before Edwards bowled him and last man Monty Panesar struck 14 not out in a 10th wicket stand of 32. Sidebottom was dropped on four by Jerome Taylor at cover.
Recalled fast bowler Edwards finished with three for 94 from 20.1 overs and brought some much-needed bite to what has been a toothless attack. Corey Collymore claimed three for 60 from 25 overs.
Harmison made another erratic start, bowling a wide and five wides with his first two balls, and then another wide and a leg-side delivery that went for four byes before trapping Ganga in front of his off-stump.