James Anderson got his 599th Test scalp in the evening of day four, trapping Pakistan's Abid Ali leg before. Shortly after that, the umpires checked the light meter and declared that it was too dark for the batsmen to confront fast-bowling, telling England captain Joe Root to bowl the spinners if he wanted to continue.
Anderson probably was thinking about bowling spin then. Many may not know about his left-arm orthodox spin and off break heroics but he once dismissed Ian Bell in an exhibition match in Durban bowling left-arm orthodox spin.
But Anderson didn't get enough time to ponder as the umpires soon called it a day which kept Anderson hanging overnight on 599 Test wickets. Nasser Hussain, former England captain and now commentator, jokingly recalled on air a simple catch he dropped off Anderson against South Africa.
England fielders kept Anderson at bay as four catches were dropped off his bowling in this match. Before this match, he never had four catches dropped off his bowling in a single Test match. What a time for that to happen!
According to CricViz, Anderson has had more drops off his bowling than 93% of Test cricketers have wickets.
However, courtesy of the rain playing hide-and-seek and so many dropped catches, it all came down to seven deliveries on day five for the veteran to become the fastest bowler to 600 Test wickets in terms of balls bowled.
After the fielders, the English summer kept Anderson waiting for more than five hours. Play finally resumed with 42 overs remaining on day five.
However, Anderson couldn't break Muralitharan's record. He had to take the wicket on the first two deliveries of his 14th over but it finished rather uneventfully. By then, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Stuart Broad and Jos Buttler must have been kicking themselves.
But he didn't have to wait too long. In his very next over, the ball bounced slightly more than Azhar Ali expected but that was enough to take the edge and Joe Root made no mistake at first slip.
Anderson held the ball high and the giant screen at the Ageas Bowl read, "James Anderson, 600 Test wickets."
Two days back, Dominic Sibley took the catch of Naseem Shah off Anderson to finish off Pakistan's first innings. Naseem was barely four months old when Anderson made his Test debut in 2003.
Such is his longevity and effectiveness. Even at 38, he maintains a probing line and length with utmost accuracy, which has been the hallmark of his bowling. He still bowls at high one-thirties regularly, hardly showing signs of exhaustion.
He was even faster in the earlier part of his career and one of the fastest bowlers in the Lancashire League. His first-class debut came for Lancashire in 2002 and his first scalp was Ian Ward, who commentated for Sky Sports in the England-Pakistan series.
The next year, he became the youngest Lancashire bowler to claim a first-class hattrick. One of the victims was the then England captain Nasser Hussain. Within a week, Anderson found himself at Lord's and presenting his Test cap was none other than Nasser Hussain.
He made his Test debut against Zimbabwe. His first Test wicket was Mark Vermuelen, who was completely beaten for pace and saw his stumps rattled. Anderson got four more in that innings, three of them were bowled.
Test debut, five-wicket haul, name on the Lord's honours board- the start couldn't have been better.
But soon he realised, Test cricket is not a bed of roses. He was raw, exciting but inconsistent, so much that it took five years and 29 Tests to reach 100 wickets, with an average in the mid-30s.
Fast forward another five years, he was celebrating his 384th Test wicket, passing Sir Ian Botham's tally of 383 to become the highest wicket taker for England in Tests.
Seems like it takes him five years to achieve big things.
So, there should be another milestone in 2018, five years after Anderson had gone past Botham. And there was.
On September 7, 2018, Anderson dismissed India's Mohammed Shami to go past Glenn McGrath's 563 wickets, becoming the highest wicket taking fast bowler in Tests. By this time, his bowling average had remarkably come down to 26.84.
Anderson bowling a full, swinging delivery and inducing the edge of a batsman's bat is quite a familiar sight. More than a third of his Test wickets have come courtesy of catches by a fielder, with caught by the wicketkeeper the next most common dismissal, and then bowled.
So it's not surprising that he is the bowler with most wickets caught behind in Test cricket.
Known as 'King of Swing', he is a nightmare to the batters when in rhythm with the new ball. Three-fourth of his wickets in Tests are of the batsmen batting at number one to seven. Only Chaminda Vaas, among fast bowlers, has more percentage of top order wickets in Tests.
It's not easy being the spearhead of a Test bowling attack at the age of 38. But Anderson seems to get better with age. Since he turned 30, he has taken 331 wickets at a stunning average of 24. He averages less than 30 against every team he played against barring England and New Zealand in that period.
His first over in Test cricket cost 17 runs. 17 years later, he got his 600th scalp. The game didn't disappoint him. Hailing from Burnley, where people mostly talk football, Anderson chose cricket. But right now, the Burnley people are surely talking about 'The Burnley Express'. Not the newspaper, not some transport, it's James Michael 'Jimmy' Anderson- the first fast bowler on the planet to take 600 wickets.