Pakistan paceman Mohammad Abbas took a wicket with his second ball in test cricket as the tourists made headway early on the first day of the first test before West Indies recovered to close at 244-7 in Jamaica on Friday.
West Indies were reeling at 71 for five at one point after an all-too-familiar top-order collapse before steadying the ship at Sabina Park in Kingston.
Yasir Shah broke a stubborn 118-run sixth-wicket partnership between middle-order batsmen Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich when Chase was caught brilliantly by Wahab Riaz just inside the boundary rope for 63.
Dowrich departed next ball, bowled for 56, leaving the home team at 189 for seven, but Jason Holder (30 not out) and Devendra Bishoo (23 not out) lifted the score to a respectable total before bad light curtailed play just one over after the second new ball was taken.
Earlier, Abbas made a fine debut when he induced opener Kraigg Brathwaite to edge to second slip for a duck.
Fellow quick Mohammad Amir then chimed in by claiming the next three wickets as West Indies test debutants Shimron Hetmyer (11) and Vishaul Singh (9) both went cheaply. Amir finished the day with 3/28.
Pakistan have lost their past six tests, while West Indies have lost their past two home series, to India last year and Australia in 2015.