|First Test, Chennai (day two)|
|England 578 (190.1 overs): Root 218, Sibley 87, Stokes 82|
|India 257-6 (74 overs): Pant 91; Bess 4-55, Archer 2-52|
|India trail by 321 runs|
Dom Bess advanced England’s chances of victory over India on day three of the first Test in Chennai, despite a sparkling knock from Rishabh Pant.
Spinner Bess took 4-55 as India closed 257-6, still 321 runs behind.
Bess had India captain Virat Kohli caught for 11 and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane for one, the hosts reduced to 73-4.
Pant then brutally targeted the spin of Jack Leach in a stunning counter-attack, while Cheteshwar Pujara made 73 in support.
But Bess returned to dismiss both batsmen with wicketkeeper batsman Pant caught at deep extra cover by Leach for 91 from 88 balls.
Jofra Archer earlier claimed the wickets of both India openers in a fine new-ball spell after England added 23 runs in 40 minutes with the bat. They were eventually bowled out for 578.
A seventh-wicket partnership of 32 from Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar frustrated England late in the day but Joe Root’s side look to be the only team who can win the Test.
England impress again on action-packed day
Three days in, England have still hardly put a foot wrong in this match.
After patiently accumulating over the first two days, on day three they knocked over India’s much-fabled top order.
Archer and Bess were excellent, England’s fielding outstanding too.
James Anderson brilliantly caught opener Shubman Gill diving at mid-on and Root clung on one-handed at extra cover at dismiss Rahane.
After lunch they brilliantly squeezed the scoring rate, conceding just 14 runs in an hour during which Bess had star batsman Kohli caught at short leg off the inside edge.
Even luck favoured England. Pujara was caught at mid-wicket after the ball had deflected to him off Ollie Pope’s shoulder at short leg.
England’s only blemishes were Leach’s inability to overcome Pant’s dazzling attack and a difficult drop by Archer late in the day to reprieve Sundar on 25. Archer was running back from long-on and spilled a ball coming over his shoulder.
Still, India, the leaders in the World Test Championship who have lost once at home since 2013, face a long battle to deny England over the final two days.
More to follow.