Bess the destroyer, India 6-257 at stumps

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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 6-257 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 counterattack from Rishabh Pant for 91.

"I was just trying to bowl at a spot, trying to build pressure for a long time, and it just happened," Bess said of the Kohli wicket.

"It wasn't like I was trying to bowl that magic ball. It was really just about hitting that box. It seemed to drift a little more, and got him playing at a wider line, and I am glad the catch was taken."

Bess relied on good fielding and good fortune too, with Joe Root taking a brilliant one-handed catch to see off Ajinkya Rahane. Cheteshwar Pujara was left aghast when his pull shot looped to midwicket via a huge deflection off the cowering Ollie Pope.

Bess ended with figures of 4-55, another significant return for a player who is clearly learning on the job as a Test cricketer but regularly finds a way to meet the challenges in front of him.

Pant had counter attacked England's bowling with success, hitting nine fours and five sixes, but fell short of a century when his lofted hit in the 57th over was caught at deep cover by Jack Leach.

"He's (Pant) a phenomenal talent. We saw him in the Australia tests, and that ability," Bess said.

"It was a very bold innings."

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.

- with AP