Alastair Cook became the fifth-highest run-scorer in Test history as he achieved an emotional a farewell century in his final international match on Monday.
The former England captain moved past Kumar Sangakkara’s tally of 12,400 on the fourth day of the final Test against India at the Oval.
That helped England, who are looking to wrap up a 4-1 series win, to a comfortable lead with current skipper Joe Root also unbeaten and edging towards a century of his own.
Cook, who also registered a half-century in the first innings, began the day on 46 and soon moved past 50 with a trademark clip off his legs for four off Jasprit Bumrah.
It was a 58th Test half-century but Cook, 33, undoubtedly had his sights set on improving that by reaching a 33rd ton.
Before that came Sangakkara’s landmark, which he reached at 76 with a single into the leg side off Mohammed Shami.
He reached his century is somewhat bizarre circumstances, however.
On 96, Cook just prodded Ravindra Jadeja for what looked like a comfortable single initially. Jasprit Bumrah had another idea, though, and thought he saw an opportunity to run the opener out.
But his attempt proved very inaccurate and with no Indian fielder backing up it ran away for four. Of course, Cook didn't mind and the reception he received when he finally reached the landmark was something special.
The match will be the last of Cook’s prolific 12-year international career after he announced his intention to retire last week. He will bow out knowing only Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid have scored more Test runs, while he has also become the highest-scoring left-hander.
Root, who resumed on 29, made steady progress at the other end to pass 50 in 81 deliveries.
His efforts included sweeping Ravindra Jadeja for two fours in one over but he did survive a scare on 46 when he was dropped at slip by Ajinkya Rahane off the same bowler.