Stuart Broad and the rest of England's famed pace attack had to earn their successes on an attritional first day of the Investec Test series against West Indies at Lord's.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (87no) and Adrian Barath made Broad (six for 72) work hardest as the ball swung all day under cloud cover but only occasionally helped the seamers off the pitch.
The upshot was a near par stumps total of 243 for nine for the tourists, thanks predictably to their habitual top runscorer and some acceptable support down the order.
Andrew Strauss, who confirmed a debut for young Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow at the toss, duly got the call right.
But Barath drove especially well through the covers and down the ground and numbered nine boundaries in his 42.
His opening partner Kieran Powell had made only five when James Anderson got his first look at him, and worked him over expertly.
A succession of deliveries moved down the slope from the pavilion end - Powell played-and-missed once - before Anderson brought one back superbly to bemuse his victim and hit off-stump.
Barath lost his second partner to Anderson, who capped his first spell by pinning number three Kirk Edwards lbw as he shaped to push across the ball, but he found a new ally in Darren Bravo.
The third-wicket pair saw off Anderson's first nine-over stint without further loss, and Barath and Bravo more than doubled the score in a half-century stand.
Mixed fortunes in the afternoon exchanges initially favoured England.
Broad called for an lbw review against Barath - advantageous not because it brought a dismissal there and then but because the no-ball discovered on video replay resulted in an extra delivery which would account for the opener at the end of the over.
Barath threw the bat at a wide ball, and fell to a very good head-high catch by Anderson at the second attempt in the gully.
Bravo ought to have gone to Anderson, but Graeme Swann put down a regulation catch at second slip. The drop was not costly, Bravo - who had added only two runs from 30 balls in almost an hour since lunch - the fall guy in a run-out mix-up.
He found himself running on his own towards a near stationary Chanderpaul, who had pushed Swann behind square on the leg-side. England did not relay the ball well back to the bowler - Matt Prior's throw down the wicket was a near 'wide' - but Bravo was stranded by almost a full 22 yards.
England momentarily thought they had Chanderpaul for just 15, and the Windies 105 for five, when Marais Erasmus gave him out lbw playing no shot to Anderson.
The stakes were high enough for Chanderpaul to chance a review, and it paid off when simulation suggested the ball was not coming back up the slope sufficiently from round the wicket to hit off-stump.
England were then shut out for the rest of the session as Chanderpaul adopted his trademark immovability alongside Marlon Samuels in an important 81-run partnership.
Tim Bresnan, who began this morning with four consecutive maidens, filled an admirable holding role. But before tea, England were definitely on to Plan B - with two overs of Jonathan Trott's medium-pace.
Chanderpaul reached his 50 from 102 balls in early evening, but was to soon find himself batting with the tail after Broad struck twice in the space of six balls.
Samuels, who had taken 45 balls before driving his first boundary down the ground off Broad, grew in confidence only to throw his hands at a wide delivery from the same bowler and be neatly-caught by Bairstow at point.
Then Denesh Ramdin could hardly be blamed for edging to slip when Broad produced an awkward delivery that left the batsman and kicked off the pitch from short of a length.
Chanderpaul would have become Swann's first wicket, on 62, had England reviewed a not-out lbw decision from Erasmus.
It was a surprise to many when Hawkeye demonstrated he was hit in line after all, Chanderpaul the winner again in an innings which could be defined by his survival on three occasions via narrow deliberations over lbw and DRS.
Broad was disappointed too when he chose to review against Chanderpaul with the second new ball - Aleem Dar vindicated, because it pitched outside leg.
In the same over, there was some consolation when Darren Sammy aimed to leg yet edged to gully.
Broad had his fifth wicket via a return catch from Kemar Roach, before snapping up Fidel Edwards caught-behind from the last ball of the day. But there was still no shifting Chanderpaul.