Skipper Andrew Strauss's 15th Test hundred helped England bury the double misery of their Jamaica humiliation and the abandoned second Test on the opening day of the third Test on Sunday.
Strauss hit 169, and there were half-centuries for Owais Shah and Alastair Cook, as England, sent in to bat by the West Indies, reached 301 for three in their first innings when stumps were drawn at the Antigua Recreation Ground.
Strauss turned his over-pitched 169th delivery from Daren Powell through backward square leg for two to reach the milestone to help make his team's 51 all out in the first Test, and Friday's aborted Test, a distant memory.
He put on 123 for the first wicket with Cook before Shah, who was replacing Ian Bell, joined him to add 153 for the second wicket before they both departed in the final period of the day.
"It was important we came out positive today just to show there is a lot of fight in us and we did that from ball one," said Strauss.
"On this pitch it is not that easy to get ones, it's easier to get boundaries than get ones.
"And once me and Cooky (Alastair Cook) were in we decided that if the shot was on we should back ourselves and go for the shot.