Dom Bess took centre stage with four wickets as England hammered home their advantage in the first Test against India.
The hosts responded to an imposing first-innings score of 578 by scrapping to 257 for six at stumps, with Bess running through a high-class middle order.
Capturing India captain Virat Kohli at bat-pad for just 11 was the off-spinner’s moment of the day – and probably his career thus far – and he also ended a thrilling counter-attack from Rishabh Pant for 91.
Breakthrough! @DomBess99 has the knack! 💪
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 7, 2021
He relied on good fielding and good fortune too, Joe Root taking a brilliant one-handed catch to see off Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara left aghast when his pull shot looped to midwicket via a huge deflection off the cowering Ollie Pope.
With Jofra Archer earlier accounting for both openers with the new ball, England walked off at stumps 321 ahead and with a big chance to open up the road to a series-opening victory.
It seems unlikely that England would send their hosts in for a second innings. Not only would it place a strenuous workload on their bowling attack in a tightly-packed series, it would also open up the outside chance of batting last on a day five pitch. Expect Root to play the percentages even if there is a flurry of wickets.
A spokesman said
England media manager Danny Reuben took to Twitter after his fellow Yorkshireman Joe Root produced a wonderful one-handed catch to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane. Having already established his superhero credentials with the bat, the captain was given the full comic-book treatment after his athletic intervention in the field.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has now been dismissed between 90 and 100 on four occasions in his 17-match career.
97 v Aus, Sydney (2021)
92 v WI, Rajkot (2018)
92 v WI, Hyderabad (2018)
91 v Eng, Chennai (2021)
View from the dressing room